Syria Using Militias for Mass Killings: UN
As more than 2.5M displaced by civil war
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2013 2:20 PM CDT
In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Ahmed, center, mourns his father Abdulaziz Abu Ahmed Khrer, who was killed by a Syrian Army sniper, during his funeral in Idlib, north Syria.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

(Newser) – The latest travesty the Syrian government has been accused of: using local militias to carry out mass killings. UN human rights investigators say these "Popular Committees" commit killings that sometimes have "sectarian overtones," Reuters reports. (The rebels in Syria are mainly Sunni Muslims, while President Bashar al-Assad has ties to Shi'ite Islam.) In its new report, the UN commission of inquiry on Syria calls the trend "disturbing and dangerous," noting that some of the militias "appear to have been trained and armed by the government."

The report accuses the Popular Committees of engaging in "house-to-house searches, identity checks, mass arrests, looting, and acting as informants," as well as harassing or arresting people from regions seen as supporting the opposition. It comes amid more violence in Syria: Government warplanes today bombed Homs, after rebels pushed into the Baba Amr district, Reuters reports. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced due to the civil war, according to Bloomberg, and the UN report finds that there are few areas inside Syria unaffected by the conflict.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
Mar 12, 2013 10:37 AM CDT
they are all savages! its nice to have them kill eachother! keep up the good work guys!!!!!
Mar 11, 2013 10:56 PM CDT
Lord, why did you left me? Sounds familiar? It has been always the same crucificxion for all citizens there. I always felt that Dante was writing about the Middle East when he wrote: Abandon hope,all who enter here.. There will never be a permanent solution for such middle east disease..only temporary ones.
Mar 11, 2013 7:31 PM CDT
what's really atrocious is the cell cam video coming out of there. You won't see it in the mainstream, but lots of the extreme websites have em. Pretty brutal stuff. When we say "Mass Killings" it almost sounds clinical, compared to the actual brutality going on over there. Go see for yourself. FLY THE ICBMs NOW! (just think, afterwards we can use the entire middle east to solve our nuclear waste storage problem!)