Tanks rumble into Homs, as 33 killed across Syria
SYRIA: Tanks rumbled into the central city of Homs at dawn Saturday,
a day after security forces killed at least 33 anti-regime protesters
across Syria, adding urgency to a UN mission expected this weekend.
“Several tanks took up positions at dawn in the district of Al-Khalidiyeh”
in the central city of Homs, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.
“Throughout the night and this morning shots were heard from Al-Khalidiyeh
to Baba Amr and Inshaat,” he added, referring to two other central
locations in the city.
Regime forces were also conducting arrests in the city of Latakia
early Saturday, the Observatory said, adding that many of those picked
up were minors. According to the rights advocacy group the death toll
from Friday’s crackdown on protesters rose to 33, including 15 people
who were killed in the southern province of Daraa where 25 others were
It said security forces had also killed 15 civilians in the central
province of Homs, including five in the flashpoint neighbourhood of Al-Khalidiyeh.
Three protesters were also shot dead on Friday in the Damascus
suburbs of Harasta and Douma, the Observatory said.
The United Nations said that a UN humanitarian mission would visit
Syria this weekend to witness the effects of the crackdown on
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the Security
Council on Thursday there was “reliable corroborative evidence” that
Syrian forces are deliberately shooting anti-regime demonstrators.
Pillay also said in an interview with France 24 elevision that her
body had drawn up a list of 50 Syrians in senior positions that she said
were responsible for violent repression.
The civilian death toll from the security force crackdown on the
protests has now passed 2,000, UN Under Secretary General B. Lynn Pascoe
also told the Security Council on Thursday.
On Friday the Observatory reported that 20,000 people had marched in
Al-Khalidiyeh alone on a day of protest demanding the fall of Assad’s