Skip to main content

U.N. Security Council plea fails to stem Syrian bloodshed

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:40 PM EDT, Thu March 22, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • State news agency says 18 members of army, law enforcement laid to rest
  • Tank shells hit Binnish, opposition says
  • Al Qaeda-linked website carries group's claim of responsibility for Damascus bombing
  • Kofi Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general, seeks to stop the fighting

(CNN) -- Shelling in the besieged Syrian city of Hama continued Thursday, a day after the United Nations Security Council called for the regime to end the bloodshed.

A number of civilians were wounded and buildings collapsed during the attack by Syrian security forces, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria.

Across the country, at least 90 people were killed Thursday, including at least 12 children and four women, the Local Coordination Committees said.

The deaths included 25 in Idlib, 35 in Homs, 15 in Hama, seven in Daraa, two in Lattakia, two in Aleppo, two in the Damascus suburbs, one in Bokamal and one in Damascus.

Some of the dead included defected soldiers who refused to shoot at civilians, the Local Coordination Committees said.

The state-run news agency SANA said 18 army and law enforcement members targeted by what it called "armed terrorist groups" while on duty in Daraa, Hama and Homs were buried Thursday.

Homs has been a hotbed of anti-government sentiment during the yearlong uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Activists said the corpses of 39 people killed this month were recovered from the city's Refaie district Wednesday.

The Syrian government, which routinely blames the violence on "armed terrorist groups," said a child and his brother were "martyred" by one such group Thursday in Homs. Three citizens were wounded in the attack, the state-run news agency SANA reported.

"Also in Homs, armed terrorist groups committed a new massacre, brutally murdering a number of citizens who had been abducted earlier," the report said, insisting that the groups take footage of the dead bodies and send them to news channels.

Opposition groups have said they are sending out images of people killed by the Syrian regime in its brutal crackdown to crush an uprising.

An al Qaeda-linked website posted a claim of responsibility Thursday for a recent bombing in Damascus from a group calling itself Jabhat al-Nasra. The statement said it was the group's first news release.

The opposition Free Syrian Army and Syrian National Committee have pointed fingers at the Syrian government, saying they believe the regime set up a proxy group to take the blame.

The Binnish Coordination Committee, part of the Local Coordination Committees, said several tank shells fell on the western side of that city. Residents fled from one part of the city in Idlib province to the other, it said. No injuries were reported.

The Local Coordination Committees reported clashes in a Damascus suburb and intense gunfire in Daraa.

CNN cannot independently confirm reports of casualties or attacks in Syria because the government has severely restricted the access of international journalists.

Syria's maimed children cry out
Damascus bombings 'significant'
Syria activist says blasts 'distraction'
Car bombings reported in Syria

U.N. officials say the yearlong crisis has killed more than 8,000 people, while opposition activists put the toll at more than 10,000.

After months of failed attempts to stop the bloodshed, the U.N. Security Council issued a presidential statement Wednesday endorsing the peace mission of diplomat Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League joint special envoy to Syria.

His mission is to stop the violence, gain "timely" humanitarian aid access and foster a Syrian-led political transition.

"The Security Council calls upon the Syrian government and opposition to work in good faith with the envoy toward a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis," the statement said.

Unlike resolutions, U.N. presidential statements aren't legally binding. But they require unanimous support. This is significant because Russia and China, two permanent council members, have been obstacles to adopting tough resolutions on Syria.

In its statement, the council cited concern at the deteriorating situation in Syria and expressed regret at the deaths of thousands of people.

"The Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards and end the use of heavy weapons in population centers, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers," the statement said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke about the Security Council statement and the situation in Syria on Thursday.

"All the violence must stop," Ban said. "In clear and unmistakable terms, the Security Council called for an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations. It demanded secure humanitarian access and a comprehensive political dialogue between the government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition."

The council called for a "daily two-hour humanitarian pause" for relief efforts and intensifying "the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons." It wants freedom of movement for journalists and "a nondiscriminatory visa policy for them."

It also urged respect for "freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the move shows the council is speaking with one voice.

CNN's Josh Levs, Amir Ahmed, Saad Abedine, Holly Yan, Arwa Damon, Mick Krever, Nima Elbagir and Joe Sterling contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
updated 5:17 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
updated 5:19 PM EDT, Wed May 28, 2014
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
updated 6:19 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
updated 9:41 PM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.
ADVERTISEMENT