|A small city in Syria: Aftermath of the carnage in Houla,|
and a certain prelude to more of the same
"Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad al-Makdissi insisted the regime was "not at all" to blame for the massacre in Houla in central Homs province. Blaming "terrorists" for the killings, Makdissi said Damascus had opened an investigation, with results expected within three days. "Not one Syrian tank went in," he said... Despite the outcry, violence raged on, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reported at least 28 people killed across the country on Sunday, among them women and children. [AFP]Is anyone other than Israelis paying real attention to the things we can learn from what Syrian Arabs are doing to Syrian Arabs?
The U.N. has verified that 92 people were killed [updated to 108, according to this source] within hours in the Syrian district of Houla, including at least 32 children, their mangled corpses laid out on a plastic mat, set apart from dozens of adult victims. Some of the children were in blood-soaked pajamas; others had their skulls ripped open. They were killed by artillery and tank shells, the U.N. said; Syrian activists claim that others were butchered with knives. The Syrian opposition blamed President Bashar Assad's regime. The government blamed "al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups." Syria's 15-month spiral into a broad civil war has seen many massacres, with many grisly grainy images of dead children, of entire families slaughtered standing as alleged evidence. Some have prompted international condemnation, sometimes in "the strongest possible terms," others have not. But the latest killings stand out — not least because they happened while U.N. monitors were in country, observing a tattered six-week-old cease-fire that seems to exist only on paper... Despite restrictions on media and aid organizations operating in Syria, the world knows what is happening there, it just doesn't know what to do about it... The U.N. stopped counting Syria's deaths months ago. NATO has repeatedly said it has no plans to intervene in the conflict. The U.N. Secretary-General has admitted that "at this time, we don't have any Plan B" for Syria. [TIME]The United Nations and human rights groups estimate that over 13,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March 2011 – 9,200 of them civilians.