Syria troops storm rebel town as calls for UN action grow
Syrian troops and pro-regime militia stormed and torched a southern town on Saturday, as United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon warned that divisions were giving Damascus a licence to kill.Updated: Jul 14, 2012 23:01 IST
Syrian troops and pro-regime militia stormed and torched a southern town on Saturday, as United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon warned that divisions were giving Damascus a licence to kill.
Hundreds of soldiers backed by helicopter gunships attacked Khirbet Ghazaleh in the province of Daraa — the cradle of a 16-month uprising — amid heavy gunfire, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
An activist on the ground who identified himself as Bayan Ahmad gave a similar account, saying pro-regime militia were setting alight houses in the town. “The army entered without resistance as the rebel Free Syrian Army left town. The shelling has wounded dozens of people but we don’t have medical resources to treat them,” he added.
Elsewhere, a pregnant woman was among 28 persons killed across the country, the Observatory said, a day after 118 people died including dozens of civilians gunned down by troops at anti-regime protests.
The violence persisted despite an international outcry over the mass killing that claimed more than 150 lives in the central village of Treimsa on Thursday. Ban, the UN secretary genera,lashed out at the Syrian regime and called for the United Nations Security Council to urgently act to stop the bloodshed as its failure would give “a licence for further massacres.”
“I call upon all member states to take collective and decisive action to immediately and fully stop the tragedy unfolding in Syria. Inaction becomes a licence for further massacres," he said.
The Treimsa killings have added urgency to deadlocked Security Council negotiations on a Syria resolution.
US ambassador Susan Rice said to the UN on Twitter that the killings “dramatically illustrate the need for binding measures on Syria” by the council.
First Published: Jul 14, 2012 22:59 IST