News24

Assad's forces cleanse Daraya - 320 dead

2012-08-26 20:08

Aleppo - Syrian opposition activists accused President Bashar Assad's army on Sunday of massacring hundreds of people in a town close to the capital that government forces recaptured from rebels.

In the town of Daraya, southwest of Damascus, around 320 bodies, including women and children, were found in houses and basements, according to activists who said most had been killed "execution-style" by troops in house-to-house raids.

Activists uploaded several videos to the internet showing rows of bloodied bodies wrapped in sheets. Most of the dead appeared to be young men of fighting age, but at least one video showed several children who appeared to have been shot in the head. The body of one toddler was soaked in blood.

Due to restrictions on non-state media in Syria, it was impossible to independently verify the accounts.

Clashes are raging across Syria as the 17-month-old rebellion grows increasingly bloody, particularly in the northern city of Aleppo, where the army and rebels appear stuck in a war of attrition.

Fighting in Aleppo on Sunday was the heaviest in the past week, according to Reuters journalists on the ground.

Fighter jets dropped bombs and fired missiles on rebel-held districts in the south of Aleppo, Syria's largest city, as residents fled in panic. Reuters journalists there heard heavy explosions as clouds of black smoke rose high into the air.

The uprising, which began as peaceful protests, has become a brutal civil war. United Nations investigators have accused both sides of war crimes but laid more blame on government troops and pro-government militia than on the rebels.

The killings in Daraya, a working class Sunni Muslim town that sustained three days of bombardment before being overrun by the army on Friday, raised the daily death toll to 440 people on Saturday, one of the highest since the uprising began, an activist network called the Local Co-ordination Committees said.

Daraya cleansed

The official state news agency said: "Our heroic armed forces cleansed Daraya from remnants of armed terrorist groups who committed crimes against the sons of the town."

The death toll for the following day, Sunday, was more than 90, including civilians and fighters, according to another activist network, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It said at least eight people were killed and dozens wounded on Sunday night when security forces shelled the southern town of Basra al-Sham in Deraa province, with the death toll likely to rise as many of the wounds were severe.

Assad, who met an Iranian parliamentary delegation in Damascus on Sunday, said the crisis was the result of Western and regional states trying to crush Syria's role in the "resistance" against Western and Israeli domination in the region.

"What is happening right now is not just a plot directed against Syria but the region as a whole, of which Syria is a foundational stone," he was cited as saying by state news agency Sana. "The Syrian people will not allow this plan to reach its goals, no matter the cost."

The United Nations estimates that more than 18 000 people have been killed in the conflict that pits a mainly Sunni Muslim opposition against a ruling system dominated by the Assad family - members of the Alawite faith, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

Reuters reporters in a southern part of Aleppo saw jets swoop over the city as thick pillars of smoke rose into the air. Residents fled in panic as rebel gunmen filled the streets, firing anti-aircraft guns mounted on trucks at a jet and helicopter flying overhead.

Rebels say they control at least half the city of 2.5 million, but their hold is fragile as long as Assad's forces can unleash their air power against fighters who are comparatively lightly armed. Some rebels in Aleppo were firing assault rifles at a helicopter gunship shooting down at them.

Syria's security is Iran's security

Diplomatic efforts to stop the violence in Syria are stalled by a stalemate dividing Western countries, Gulf Arab states and Turkey - who all support the opposition - and Iran, Russia and China - who support Assad.

With veto-wielding Russia leading resistance to action against Assad, the UN Security Council remains deadlocked.

Egypt is seeking to arrange a four-way meeting with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the main regional players in the conflict. Iran, a Shi'ite power, is Assad's main backer, while Saudi Arabia is believed to be supplying weapons to the rebels.

Iran accuses its foes in the West and the Arab world of fuelling the conflict by arming the opposition. Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian welcomed Egypt's initiative.

"Iran has its own views about the political process in Syria and will put forth these views upon the formation of this committee," he said. "We see any foreign intervention, terrorist actions and armed movements against the wishes of the people of Syria."

The Iranian parliamentary delegation that met with Assad also visited Vice-President Farouq al-Sharaa. It was Sharaa's first public appearance in weeks, quashing activist rumours that he had defected to the opposition.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the delegation, said Tehran had also suffered from "terrorism" and would continue to support the Syrian government.

"Just as Iran suffered from terrorism and overcame that difficult period, Syria will be able to do so as well," state news agency Sana quoted him as saying. "Syria's security is Iran's security."

Comments
  • derek.bredenkamp.3 - 2012-08-26 20:29

    Wherever you read "opposition activist or rebel fighter" replace it with "terrorist mercenary" funded and armed by the West. Another crime against humanity is in the making, Iraq, Afganistan, Libya, when will the killing stop!!

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-08-26 20:46

      Great Derek, you see through all the smoke and mirrors! All the alleged atrocities is "according to activists on the ground" quoted by a "human rights group" based in London.. whose word the Western media unfailingly takes! We are to believe that regular troops routinely kill children of their fellow citizens, while the Saudi/ Turkish mercenaries leave them unmolested while using their neighborhoods as hideouts..

      Squeegee - 2012-08-26 20:53

      Wow, according to you guys the entire media is in cahoots in a conspiracy on a level that is mind blowing. The entire world is lying about Assad's bombing of civilians and the bodies shown in the media are dummies. And on top of it all Assad and his regime are really the good guys. Thank you for pointing this out. I was being fooled...

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 21:15

      Wherever you see derek and willem's perspective, factor in that they're deluding themselves with naive anti-West rhetoric. All the while innocent Muslims are being slaughtered by an unelected dictator, armed by a neo-Soviet ex-KGB officer.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 21:16

      www.pbsnewshour.org Thursday night's show, the first segment.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 21:25

      Other way around actually. But you've blinded yourself, so you can't tell. Sad.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-26 21:33

      This assad MONSTER can kill tens of thousands more Syrians, but this time the opposition , won't let go; They will defeat this assad DOG AND HIS ARMY OF TERRORISTS !! FOR SURE !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 21:33

      If Patrick or Fidel, now Derek and Willem see the situation in Syria one way, you can rest assured is almost exactly the opposite. They've inverted reality.

      phiwe.nkonki - 2012-08-26 21:35

      the syrian rebels recently admitted they were being armed and trained by western countries after the Syrian Army captured a 100 odd French troops on the ground in Syria!! Now Since when did France send troops to Syria? And how come so few mainstream lacky news publishers are not mentioning this? There's definitely something sinister going on with the middle east's alleged "revolutions"....the western countries are in no moral position to say what's right or wrong when they look the other way when the Israeli defence force kills innocent unarmed Palestinians, they look the other way when their friends the King of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia kill protesters; they dont want peace in the middle east, they have no problem sitting by while they die but they do want to control those countries in the middle east that are against against them Libya was one, Syria is next and you watch this space because Iran will be next but I dont think they will go down easy

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-26 21:36

      Derek, Libya ???????? Wipe the sh.t out of your eyes, than you will see a country that has got out of 30 years of tyranny by a PSYCHOPATH, and on its way to make a just and decent soceity !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 21:39

      VOR, where were you during the first eleven months of the uprising, when Assad shot thousands of unarmed demonstrators with sniper-fire, detained, tortured and had raped tens of thousands more?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 21:41

      As to the rest of your post, so nothing should be done to help the Syrian people freeing themselves from 50 years of oppression, because the rest of the world is not perfect? You've tied yourself into a delusional knot, and weakened yourself with excuses of imperfection.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-26 21:59

      It is only the sick and disturbed , who will see 'good' in the slaughtering of a nation !!

      phiwe.nkonki - 2012-08-27 01:03

      @ fred.fraser - were you there fred? I was at home when that happened like most...still doesnt mean I'm wrong! And please get off that high horse of yours, you dont have a monopoly on morality...I too am appauled by the situation in Syria and I just would like the truth and there is a possibility that the truth is that this was all nurtured and sponsored by the west to destabilise the middle east so that the bankrupt western countries (and they are so bankrupt is ridiculous) can control the biggest source of wealth right now...oil!!! @ AnthonyfromAfrica - As for Gadaffi, he undoubtedly was a good man to me but it makes sense that in western media he'd be painted as the boogie man because America blamed him for the Lockerbie bombings!! Oh what a blood thirsty he psychopath he must have been; the same Gadaffi who unlike most revolutions now lead one 40 years ago and not a single Libyan died, the same psychopath who used oil money and promised that he would not build a house for his parents until every Libyan has a house and not live in tents which he did, the same psychopath who built schools and hospitals offering free services to his people, the same psychopath who deposited a certain amount of the countries oil revenue in every single Libyans bank account every month....and I can go!! Surely we arent talking about the same man!! The west was involved in Libya too...so they can control the country with the biggest and best oil reserves in Africa

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 02:10

      VOR, no offense, that's a ridiculous, uninformed, delusional idea with no substance. As to foreign fighters, 5% to 10% of those fighting Assad are foreign. You're detaching yourself from what is really going on.

      phiwe.nkonki - 2012-08-27 02:57

      5 to 10%?? where did you pluck this figure from?? But please do elaborate on what is so ridiculous about what I said? Of course no offense taken!! What is really going on is a) yes there's fighting and people dying which is sad, b) we dont know really who is killing them because with the last massacre in Houla where about 114 people were killed...some reports claim the government did it, some find evidence that the rebels did it and I know a German paper reported this I wont argue with you because that will be a wate of my breath...the west will most likely succeed and put in place a more favourable government in Syria and I bet you anything that the next target will Hezbolah in Lebanon and then Iran!! You mark my words and I'm not some sort of witch that can see into the future but I know this because it was planned ages ago...the US had a plan to take out 7 countries in 5 years in the early 2000's! Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Iran being the biggest! Dont be surprsed when coincidentally this happens

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 06:34

      YOU don't know what is really happening. That much is crystal clear. Why are you protecting rogue, unelected regimes who are oppressing their populations?

      michael.j.anderson.144 - 2012-08-27 07:44

      At squeejee pilot. How much media do u consume? And I don't mean CNN or bbc or sky news. Wake up dude, READ. Your sarcasm is actually true. Cahoots is what's happening. The entire world? No, just the western controlled media. You are so far behind its embarrassing. Rather keep quiet

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 08:04

      "The Western-controled media". What does that even mean. Who is "the West" that is controlling all that media in this Information Age, and how is it doing that?

      phiwe.nkonki - 2012-08-27 11:14

      @ fred - and I suppose you know what is happening right? Again get off that high horse bro, you're reaching dizzying heights! I think I know what's happening...again I dont have to convince you of that! I suggest you get a more rounded picture before you come be righteous one here; do listen to CNN, BBC, ABC, Fox, Sky but also listen to other news reports Al Jazeera, Russia Today especially Russia today because to me it seems to be the only media institution dedicated to reporting the TRUTH...like when those French troops were captured in Syria in March no one in the west ran that story because they dont want people to know but Russia today ran that story, that is responsible journalism; to bring the real truth to the fore not just a manufactured and pampered truth that the other western media like to produce and the leaders are they oppressing their people really? And who are you to try to impose a political system

      phiwe.nkonki - 2012-08-27 11:40

      when they say they are going to these countries to remove supposed oppressive brutal dictators that is just their noble facade to hide their wicked agendas...they have no problem having dictators around as long as they cooperate and let the west come rape their natural resources, their best friends in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are the most brutal and longest dictators I'm not standing up or defending these "dictators" but I wouldn't like people who were minding their own business to be killed under false pretenses because they want a change of leader one who'll do as they say rather than stand his ground!! What did he do recently to bring this about in his people when for 30 years they seemed happy to live with him at the healm?? Indeed many people in Syria support Assad but no leader can please all of his people 100% of the time!!

      phiwe.nkonki - 2012-08-27 11:41

      And Fred, I know just about as much as you and then some! NOW THAT MUCH IS CLEAR ;) have fun with your state fo unknowing

      john.collin.1690 - 2012-08-27 14:10

      @ Fred.Fraser here's an idea. why dont you try and prove VOS wrong.. or do you just regurgitate the rubbish you see on SABC and hear on 5FM, cause trust me they dont do their own independent journalism, they just report and copy whatever they hear on CNN etc. why dont you take the time to do your own research if you really care, dont take his word for it. find out for yourself... like for instance the youtube link i provided below. its a report by the BBC and New York times reporting on Syrian Rebels (aka Al Qaeda - which was created by the US to fight Russia)who torture Syrian civilians and force them to become suicide bombers or have their families murdered. this is a war crime. and suddenly the report was pulled from BBC and the New York times because it proves how the west creates uprisings to usurp foreign governments.. all the comments made by VOS are easily available on the internet from credible sources. the US isn't worried because they think most people are stupid and wont even bother to do their own independent research. stupid people like you Fred. and trust me if you want to have a successful career in journalism you don't rock the boat by exposing the government, you do what you are told. all those who do expose the government are ostracized and have their personalities attacked to discredit them... but i am sure you wont look into it Fred.. you probably too lazy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbxz6THXsf4&feature=player_embedded

      john.collin.1690 - 2012-08-27 14:13

      Sorry VOR not VOS... unfortunately most people have become mindless zombies... Syria and Lybia are the least of our worries... there's talk from Military and law enforcement that war is coming.. global war.. i hope SA is too insignificant to be affected...

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-28 18:50

      VOR, If you really have a need to watch RT, for the 'truth', don't embarrass yourself, just keep it quite, the same if you read the Citizen tabloid!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-29 00:18

      VOR, it's hard to read your posts. They're one long paragraph.

  • Malose-Nyatlo - 2012-08-26 21:22

    So NATO played an important role in Libya - and avoided similar massacres.\r\nAssad should count himself to have powerful and ruthless friends like Russia, China and South Africa.

  • imam.madi.129 - 2012-08-26 21:23

    These are pictures from Falujah, we are not moved by accusations of massacre. They must show us those of terrorists which the army admits of sending to hell. In the meantime, let me enjoy my tea while other terrorists choose death over going home to libya, saudi, turkey, tunisia, uk, france, jordan and qatar.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 21:27

      Tragically delusional. Your community is being slaughtered by an unelected dictator, armed by a neo-Soviet ex-KGB officer. And you're having tea. Geez, talk about being disconnected and inhuman.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-26 22:17

      Why would N24 sensor and delete my posts, but yet allows a person that uses words like cleansing and incites religious massacre? He has the gall to call himself imam and use a moniker like madi? He is not to be moved by massacre, sits and have tea, while children are killed?

      zaks2217 - 2012-08-27 06:46

      This guy is not a muslim, its sum idiot, I can see right through this poser. This is called infiltration. Don't be alarmed people.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-26 21:31

    Shocking. Tragic. Heartless. Inhuman. The only positive that can come out of this: more defections that lead to the removal of Assad, and showing of the door to the ex-KGB officer Putin. China won't be welcome in Syria too, and neither will MTN. Imagine that: our cell phone company is there, licensed by our government, profiting from Assad's oppression. Defections are bound to happen. Human consciousness will not accept this cruel brutality in 2012.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-26 21:56

    That silly and childsish Fidel, keeps saying that democracy is ""a noisy circus every 4 to 5 years"" The truth is, that the alternative to democracy is a dictatorship, and that is a whole lot more noisy than a circus; Rockets being fired in apartment blocks Bombs being dropped from out of aircraft Gunship helicopters firing live aminition on unarmed civilians !!!

  • joseph.motloung.3 - 2012-08-27 01:41

    The sooner the imperialists realize that their hegemonic project in the Middle East will not succeed the sooner there can be peace in that region. It's surprising how the so called Syrian Obsevertory for Human rights which has it's headquarters in Britain can expect the world to believe that it has all the knowledge of the goings on in Syria. we all saw when the Western sponsored terrorists threw people supporting the regime from the top of a post office. That incident was never reported by the British "watchdog" so was the incident where the terrorists slaughtered on camera people supporting the regime and posted the video online. The imperialists should stop meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign states

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 02:14

      Yeah right. Are you even aware that Assad's father did the same thing twenty years ago? Wake up and drop that imperialism nonsense being plied by South African academics who are emotionally detached from reality. The real imperialists are the unelected dictators. Everyone with a clear sense knows this. That is why one hundred million Muslims have freed themselves. You should be supporting them, not enabling the very dictators who are killing, detaining, torturing and raping them. Wake up!

      joseph.motloung.3 - 2012-08-27 12:45

      @fred.fraser I am well aware of that fact. But you are not telling the whole story. At that time the then Syrian regime had very strong relations with the US administration and INFACT those who were being tortured were sent by the Americans to the Syrian regime to torture and kill them. So the Syrian regime was doing the torturing on behalf of the Americans. It was revealed that atleast 40% of those fighting Assad are not Syrians. It was revealed that Qatar tried to bribe a Syrian diplomat to defect. What is so strange is that the west is so obsessed with removing Assad from power but in Bahrain there were democracy protests which the Dictator crushed violently with the help of Saudi Arabia. Even the Saudi dictator is facing a rebellion in his country and he is brutally crushing it with US weapons

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-29 00:13

      You've made up another nice story for yourself Joseph.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-29 00:15

      All the while you're enabling the real "imperialist", the unelected dictator of Syria who believed Syria is his family's personal fiefdom.

  • zaks2217 - 2012-08-27 06:40

    This idiot is losing grip. This is the worst kind of revolution I have heard of. Its way too much bloodshed. The OIC must stop with the lip service and take out this clown.

      imam.madi.129 - 2012-08-27 13:25

      U can take your salafist/wahabi bs to saudi and let the rest of us enjoy life in peace. Its idiots like u who soil our religion and make us look bad and stereotyped as we all terrorists. Have u ever raised your voice when muslims in darfur are killed by the khartoum muslims for nothing but being black? have u ever raised a word when shias are killed in pakistan for being who they want to be? what about bahrain, yemen, saudi? Thanks to people like u our community is about 150 years behind in development because ur kings cannot allow women to drive while ur taliban mentors deny our sisters to a right to go to school, in contrast to what our Nabi saw has left us a tradition of equality between men and women. Now we have to sell Iran and Syria for what they have done all these years, supporting palestinians when Egyptians have improsoned them in Gaza and your Kings have ignored them for a red carpet in washington. Judge me if u can, but give me the freedom to say what I feel, this is not Saudi Arabia or Wahabistan, its a free world where proud independent muslims like me have a right to take stand and say, Yes Assad is bas as his father was, but we remember that not even 24 months ago he was on a red carpet in paris and enjoyed the great life because he participated in torturing muslims for the pleasure of washington, and yes there must be freedom in Syria like anywhere in the world as with the tradition of our Prophet, saw, who allowed women to lead, No to violence, no to NATO.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-29 00:13

      Mahdi, not sure if anyone read that. It's a lot of words all crammed together in one paragraph. Hard to read.

  • michael.j.anderson.144 - 2012-08-27 07:53

    @fred.fraser?12. Oh! I saw it on PBS News so it must be true. U moron, PBS stands for "public broadcasting service". Go to YouTube if u r not scared to have yr views challenged and search for General Wesley Clark. the USA has been planning wars in 7 countries since before invasion in Iraq, from the horse's mouth, dude. WAKE UP!!!!!!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-27 08:02

      YouTube is your source? Anyone can post anything on YouTube. It is valuable for sure, but must be used with discretion. PBS is a non-commercial, publicly funded, unbiased news-source that is trustworthy. Not perfect, but trustworthy. Clearly you don't know what it is.

      phiwe.nkonki - 2012-08-27 11:47

      PBS is not unbiased...no news broadcaster can truly claim to be unbiased even if they are publically funded, somehow publically funded makes it worse bcecause you know the government is in there like swimwear, right?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-29 00:12

      As the post says, not perfect but trustworthy.

  • imam.madi.129 - 2012-08-27 13:08

    Why do u think muslims are more worried about what burma does to native muslims there than what assad is doing? Simple, we know for sure that what the west is doing is to produce more terrorists and pervet our young, after that they will protray ours as a violent religion. It amazes me that even self proclaimed crhistians will support the killing of christians and burning of churches in syria. We can see through the bs, the west want the war to go on and they want neither assad nor the FSA to win, just a long war for zionists to walk in and take the spoils of war. We are awake.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-30 04:09

      Madhi, again, you do not speak for all Muslims, especially not the 100 million Muslims who have freed themselves from lying, brutal, oppressive dictators. Your Ego is out of hand. You really should rein it in.

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