Over 3,500 people were killed during anti-government protests in Syria


11/11/2011

The representative of the United Nations condemned the "brutal crackdown on dissent," based on reliable sources.

Last week, the Arab League said that Syria has agreed to withdraw its forces from the streets to restore peace.

But since then, the UN reports that more than 60 people were killed - many in the central city of Homs.

"We will continue to protest." "Syrian troops continue to use tanks and heavy weapons, attacking residential areas of the city in Homs," said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the Department of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Opposition activists say security forces have established a heavy attack on the town a few days ago, especially in the disputed area of Baba Amr.

Local Coordination Committees, as well as a network of Syrian activists, said that 11 people were killed in clashes across the country on Tuesday, including four in Homs. One of those killed in Homs, reportedly turned sixteen year old girl.

They say that the troops are going from house to house arresting people, even though many of the residents are reported to be just escaped.

Ms. Shamdasani (Shamdasani) described the situation in Baba Amr as "particularly horrible," adding that according to information received from the OHCHR, the area remained under siege for seven days, with residents deprived of food, water and medicines.

On Monday, the main Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said that Homs is a "disaster area" and asking for international protection for civilians.

"They thought they could control the situation in Baba Amr, as it has done in other areas, but they were wrong." We are not afraid of them, "said an activist in Homs who is Salim al-Homsi." We will continue to protest, "said He news agency AP.

A lot of defectors from the armed forces in Homs stopped. Video, which was put on YouTube on Monday, appeared to show a small group of defectors, passing through Baba Amr on target with automatic rifles and RPGs.

"We are here to protect the protesters," said the soldier, who identified himself as a member of the al-Farouk brigade. "We prepodadim them a hard lesson," he added, referring to the military offensive.

Protests against the government of Bashar Assad began in March and continuing throughout Syria. The demonstrators argue that the government responded to peaceful protests by using force.

Authorities say that the army and security forces were deployed to fight the armed gangs, and that at least 1,100 members of the security forces were killed.

The statement can not be verified because the Syrian government has severely restricted access for foreign journalists.

Last weekend the government announced that it released political prisoners as a first step towards the implementation of the Arab League proposals.

However, Ms. Shamdasani said that despite the release, "thousands of people are still in prison and many people continue to arrest without reason, every day."

The Arab League has announced that they will hold an emergency meeting on November 12, which will discuss "the continuation of violence and the reasons for which the Syrian government does not perform its obligations under the Arab plan."

On Tuesday, the opposition Syrian National Council urged the Arab League "to take strong and effective position against the Syrian regime commensurate with the dangerous development of the situation in Syria, especially in Homs ...," according to news agency AFP.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said it was "regrettable" that, despite the agreement with the Arab League, the Syrian government "is stepping up repression, and many more people will die as a result."

Original: BBC


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