Damascus, Death toll continue to increase in Syrian conflict. In fact, according to Syria’s opposition National Council (SNC), more than 110 people were killed in the attack Syrian forces in the city of Houla.
“More than 110 people died (half of children) by Syrian troops. Some victims exposed to heavy artillery while other families, were slaughtered,” said a spokesman for SNC, Basma Kodmani in a statement as quoted by AFP news agency on Saturday (26 / 5/2012).
The death toll in the attack that occurred on Friday, May 25th local time. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 50 civilians were killed in attacks in the city of Houla, the province of Homs. This included 13 children who became casualties in the attack.
The bloodied bodies of children, some with their skulls split open, were shown in footage posted to YouTube purporting to show the victims of the shelling in the central town of Houla on Friday. The sound of wailing filled the room.
The carnage underlined just how far Syria is from any negotiated path out of the 14-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
“This morning U.N. military and civilian observers went to Houla and counted more than 32 children under the age of 10 and over 60 adults killed,” the head of U.N. team monitoring the ceasefire - which has yet to take hold – said.
“The observers confirmed from examination of ordinances the use of artillery tank shells,” Major General Robert Mood said in a statement, without elaborating. “Whoever started, whoever responded and whoever carried out this deplorable act of violence should be held responsible.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack.
“Those who perpetrated this atrocity must be identified and held to account,” she said in a statement. “And the United States will work with the international community to intensify our pressure on Assad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end.”
In a statement, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded “the government of Syria immediately cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers.”
Activists said Assad’s forces shelled the town of Houla on Friday evening after security forces killed a protester and following skirmishes between troops and fighters from the Sunni Muslim-led insurgency fighting Syria’s rulers, who belong to the minority Alawite sect.
A British-based opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Houla residents fled, fearing more shelling. It said one person was killed in the northern town of Saraqeb when troops fired on a protest against the killing.
Syrian state television aired some of the footage disseminated by activists after the killing in Houla, calling the bodies victims of a massacre committed by “terrorist” gangs.
It also showed video of bodies with what looked like gunshot wounds to the head, sprawled on bloodstained mattresses.
Activists distributed footage appearing to show protests in Aleppo, the largest city in the north.
“It was a real massacre happened and UN observers just remain silent,” said the head of the monitoring group, Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The attack happened just before the return of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Syria. Annan appointed as the UN envoy to Syria, the Arab League, the last month has been mediating truce has been repeatedly violated.
Prolonged conflict has made the humanitarian conditions in Syria has deteriorated. This is clearly contrary to the claims of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who claim his administration has managed to overcome the crisis in the country.
In his report, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, the groups against the Assad government now has control of significant parts of some cities. Everywhere throughout the country there has been considerable physical destruction.
“There is an ongoing crisis in the field, which are categorized as regular violence, deterioration of humanitarian conditions and human rights violations and political confrontations continue to occur,” the report Ban as reported by AFP news agency on Saturday (26/05/2012).
On Friday, May 25, Assad claimed that Syria had made it out of the crisis thanks to the strength and unity of the people of Syria.
Syria has been able to cope with the pressures and threats facing it for years and get out of this crisis thanks to the strength of its people and commitment to the unity and independence, “said Assad was quoted as saying Syria, SANA, Friday (25/05/2012) .
Syria has been the scene of deadly conflict since the last mid-March 2011. According to the UN, thousands of people have been killed, mostly civilians, during the conflict.