Syria's opposition urged the UN Security Council on Friday to pass a binding resolution against Damascus, following reports by activists that regime forces massacred scores in the central province of Hama.
Al-Jazeera quoted the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main opposition bloc, as having said on Friday, “To stop this bloody madness which threatens the entity of Syria, as well as peace and the security in the region and in the world, requires an urgent and sharp resolution of the Security Council under Chapter VII (of the UN Charter) which protects the Syrian people.”
Chapter VII allows for punitive measures against regimes considered a threat to the peace, including economic sanctions and military intervention.
“We expect members of the Security Council to assume total responsibility to protect defenseless Syrians against these shameful crimes,” said the SNC, which added that the latest killings ranked “among the more infamous genocides of the Syrian regime.”
Reports on Thursday night said that Syrian government troops using tanks and helicopters massacred anywhere from 100 to 250 people in the village of Tremseh, located in the province of Hama.
General Robert Mood, head of UN observer mission in Syria (UNSMIS), was quoted by Al-Jazeera as having said, “From our presence in the Hama province we can verify continuous fighting yesterday in the area of Tremseh.”
He added, “This involved mechanized units, indirect fire as well as helicopters. UNSMIS stands ready to go in and seek verification of the facts, if and when there is a credible ceasefire.”
Kofi Annan, the U.N. special envoy to Syria, said on Friday he was “shocked and appalled” by the massacre in Tremseh.
Annan was quoted by The Washington Post as having cited in a statement “the confirmed use of heavy weaponry such as artillery, tanks and helicopters” in the attack, adding, “This is in violation of the government’s undertaking to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers.... I condemn these atrocities in the strongest possible terms.”
The Syrian government, as it has done since the beginning of the uprising in the country, blamed the massacre on “terrorists”, which the state SANA news agency claimed “had overrun the village of al-Treimseh in Hama Countryside yesterday, killing or wounding tens of Syrian civilians.”
The so-called terrorists “ransacked, destroyed and burned scores of the village houses before the competent authorities arrived to the village,” said the report.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)