Fresh attacks, but few answers in Syria

Updated 8:24 PM EDT, Sun September 30, 2012
Rebel fighters hold their position 50 meters away from government troops during fighting in Aleppo on Thursday.
PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images
Rebel fighters hold their position 50 meters away from government troops during fighting in Aleppo on Thursday.

Story highlights

NEW: At least 154 die in Syrian violence Sunday, an opposition group says

State news reports "massacre" leaving 17 dead in Homs province

At least 30,000 have died since the conflict began, a human rights group says

The world has done "literally nothing" to stop the carnage, Turkey's foreign minister says

(CNN) —  

Hours after world leaders painted a grim picture of the Syrian war, a new wave of attacks erupted Sunday. The bloody conflict rages – as internal and international political initiatives make little apparent headway in the face of continued violence.

Here is the latest in the Syrian uprising.

Opposition: 30 found dead in Damascus basement

City dwellers fled from a Damascus neighborhood Sunday as mortar shells rained down in an intense attack by government forces, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

Nationwide, the group claimed at least 154 were killed Sunday – about half of them in and around the Middle Eastern country’s capital.

The LCC reported the discovery of 30 bodies in a Damascus basement and another eight at a military hospital in Damascus. In another incident at a hospital in a Damascus suburb, government forces stormed a building and seized a number of wounded, the LCC said.

The group also said regime forces executed a family in Deir Ezzor, including two men, a woman and four children. They were among at least 41 reported killed in the eastern Syrian province.

State news: ‘Terrorist group’ kills 17 outside Homs

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that “an armed terrorist group” killed more than 17 people and kidnapped “a number of” others in what it characterized as a “massacre” in the village of al-Haidariaya in Homs province.

Men, armed with machine guns and mortar shells, launched the attack early Sunday and, after it, looted parts of the village, according to SANA.

The same report pointed to clashes with members of a “terrorist group” in two neighborhoods in the city of Homs, with government forces killing an unspecified number of “terrorists.”

The government has consistently referred to anti-government forces as terrorists.

State media reported that government forces also targeted “terrorists and their vehicles” in Aleppo, including launching attacks near a retirement home and a local athletics institute in the northern Syrian city. SANA said that those killed include “a Turkish terrorist who led an armed terrorist group.”

An unnamed military source said, according to SANA, that armed forces uncovered opposition weapons in old irrigation canals near a mill in Harasta, in the Damascus countryside. “Terrorists” converted an underwear factory in the same city into a base, the source said.

And in the city of Qamishli, on Syria’s border with Turkey, a car bomb explosion left four civilians dead and “many others” injured, SANA reported.

U.S. warns Iran: Stop arming Syria

Diplomatic efforts: Sympathy, but no answers

Diplomats attending the U.N. General Assembly used the spotlight and worked the sidelines in an attempt to make headway toward resolving the Syrian crisis as a graphic video emerged Friday that underscored the consequences of failure to do so.

“What has the international community done to stop this carnage?” asked Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. “Literally nothing. We have yet to see a single effective action to save innocent lives.”

Turkey is providing shelter for 90,000 Syrian refugees, but the rest of the world needs to do its share, Davutoglu said. “Our inability to act becomes a tool in the hands of despots and destructive regimes to demolish the cities, towns and villages, massacre civilians and make a mockery of the civilized world and the United Nations.”

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also slammed the U.N. Security Council for failing to end the violence.

In addition to hosting a meeting of the group on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced $30 million for humanitarian aid and $15 million to unarmed opposition groups.

Background

The Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011 after unarmed protesters, inspired by the success of popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, took to the streets demanding political reform and an end to four decades of rule by the Assad family.

The movement devolved into an armed conflict after a brutal and continuing crackdown by regime forces.

Since the unrest began, more than 30,000 people have been killed, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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Diplomat to U.N.: Security Council has failed in Syria

CNN’s Hamdi Alkhshali contributed to this report.