Skip to main content

At least 150 reported killed across Syria; activist says families executed

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Sun August 26, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Activists report 62 killed in Damascus and its suburbs, including an entire family
  • Video shows Syrian VP in Damascus after defection claims
  • An opposition activist says Daraya is under fire because it revolted against the regime
  • 440 people were reported dead Saturday, including more than 200 bodies found in Daraya

(CNN) -- A day after more than 440 bodies were recovered -- the highest single-day death toll to date in the nation's civil war -- at least 160 more people were found dead in Syria on Sunday.

Here are some of the latest key developments in the country's 17-month crisis.

On the ground: Daraya becomes a horror story

On Sunday, 62 people were killed in Damascus and its suburbs, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. The LCC said 21 people, including an entire family, were found dead in the Damascus suburb of Daraya.

Syrian rebel convoy under attack
Residents flee Hirak, Syria
Syrian doctors know they face execution
Tourists urged to leave Lebanon
'Syria becoming a proxy war'

It said 48 people were killed Sunday in Daraa, the town south of Damascus near the Jordanian border where Syria's uprising began.

CNN spoke by Skype to an activist named Osama, who said the army was executing families in their homes in Daraya and stealing some possessions. He said shelling began last Monday and the military closed all the ways in and out, but he kept in contact with people inside Daraya through the Internet.

He was told the army moved into the neighborhood on Friday and began sweeping through buildings where families were taking cover.

At least 50 bodies were found in one apartment basement, he reported.

Saturday's death toll included more than 200 bodies found in Daraya, but it was unclear when those victims were killed.

One death consumes Syrian family's life

CNN cannot independently verify reports of death tolls, as the Syrian regime has severely limited access by international journalists.

It's not surprising that Daraya came under attack, opposition activist Rafif Jouejati said.

"Daraya is being targeted because it is the closest to the capital, and it is one of the first cities that revolted against the Assad regime and was the spearhead of the peaceful demonstrations in the beginning of the revolution," said Jouejati, a spokeswoman for the LCC.

"I believe the regime thinks that the only way to end the revolution is (to) kill, kill, kill. Deep down, they know they are failing, but they want to destroy as much as possible before it is over."

But the Syrian government had a different take on the situation in Daraya:

"The armed forces cleared the town of Daraya in Damascus countryside from terrorists ... eliminating a large number of them," the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

Inside Damascus: VP surfaces

New video shows Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa in Damascus holding an official meeting in the capital, despite reports this month that he had defected.

The video, distributed by Reuters, showed al-Sharaa meeting with a top Iranian official, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who according to Syrian state media arrived in Damascus on Saturday.

Iran's state-run Press TV also reported that al-Sharaa had met with an Iranian official "amid anti-Assad TV's defection rumors."

More than a week ago, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army said al-Sharaa had fled the regime.

Syrian state-run TV, at the time, did not explicitly say whether al-Sharaa had defected, but reported that the vice president's office issued a statement saying al-Sharaa "has never at any moment thought of leaving the homeland to whatever direction."

Had al-Sharaa defected, it would have marked the highest-level departure from President Bashar al-Assad's regime yet. A stream of Syrian officials resigned from the regime in recent weeks, including Republican Guard Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlas and Prime Minister Riyad Hijab. Like al-Sharaa, the men are Sunnis who held top posts in a government dominated by the country's Alawite minority.

Will Syria's first lady take a stand or stand by her man?

Observers view al-Sharaa's power and influence as more significant than the prime minister, who only served in the post for weeks. Al-Sharaa has more clout as a long-time prominent, loyal member of the regime's old guard. He served as foreign minister under al-Assad and his late father, Hafez, for more than 20 years and has been vice president since 2006.

The region: Turkey denies sending aid to rebels, slams the Syrian government

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu rejected claims that his country was shipping weapons to Syrian rebels in their quest to oust al-Assad, the Anadolu news agency reported Saturday.

"These are the arguments which authoritarian regimes had always used to conceal their internal problems," Davutoglu told the NTV news channel, according to Anadolu.

Davutoglu added, "No regime fighting its own people can survive long. (The al-Assad regime) has months, and maybe even weeks -- not years."

Syria's neighbors: What's at stake?

Syria explained: What you need to know

CNN's Yousif Basil and Saad Abedine contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 10:48 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
As a 10-year-old, this boy first hit the headlines in 1982 when he saved his cat from a fire. This year, he was reported to be a suicide bomber.
updated 2:03 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Aqsa Mahmood,19, would listen to Coldplay and read Harry Potter books. Then this Glasgow girl became an ISIS bride.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
The little boy looks barely old enough to walk, let alone understand the dark world he's now inhabiting.
updated 12:22 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
ISIS has released video of the aftermath of a mass execution. Another video shows alleged captured Peshmerga soldiers.
updated 5:33 AM EDT, Sat August 30, 2014
The number of people who have fled Syria and registered as refugees amid the country's civil war will surpass 3 million Friday.
updated 2:49 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, grew up in the Minneapolis area, but died more than 6,000 miles away in Syria, fighting for ISIS.
updated 4:54 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
If the United States is serious about thoroughly defeating ISIS, it must, somehow, go through Syria.
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 6:16 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
More than 100,000 people reportedly have been killed in Syria since a popular uprising in 2011 spiraled into a civil war.
ADVERTISEMENT