UN: Heavy weaponry used in assault on Syrian village, activists report mass killing


The head of the UN monitoring mission in Syria confirmed Friday that its observers heard over 100 explosions from heavy weaponry and attack helicopters used in an assault on the Syrian village of Tremseh. Opposition activists say scores of people have been killed in a government assault on the village, near Hama, since Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Robert Mood “told reporters in Damascus that a group of observers about five kilometers (three miles) away during the violence confirmed the use of heavy weaponry and attack helicopters,” the Associated Press reported. “He said his team was ready to investigate if a cease-fire is reached.”

The 300-member UN monitoring team has been largely unable to travel given the growing chaos on the ground.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the latest mass killing in Syria, saying opposition reports  of as many as 200 people killed were credible.

“I was deeply saddened and outraged to learn of reports of yet another massacre committed by the Syrian regime that has claimed the lives of over 200 men, women, and children in the village of Traymseh,” Clinton said in a statement Friday.  “Credible reports indicate that this unconscionable act was carried out by artillery, tanks, and helicopters – indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent civilians.”

Opposition activists said Friday Syrian government forces shelled the farming village, near Hama, “before armed thugs moved in, leaving scores of people dead in what rebels claim could be one of the worst single days of bloodshed in the uprising against Bashar Assad’s regime,” the AP report. “Amatuer videos showed the bodies of 17 people said to have been killed.”

A UK-US-French backed draft UN Security Council resolution currently being circulated calls for new sanctions to be imposed if Syrian forces do not stop their assault on Syrian population centers  in 10 days time.

But Russia said Thursday it would reject the measure, because it invokes Chapter 7,, which it fears could be used to authorize international military intervention in the country.

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