Syria: ‘fictional’ cease-fire sees 34 children killed; frantic pleas for UN monitors to intervene during the attack fail
Yesterday’s brutal killings of 34 children in the village of Houla, and the frantic calls during that attack to UN monitors who failed to intervene, have highlighted what many believe: the cease-fire is fictional.
Reports of the massacre were confirmed by the UN well after the attack, according to the BBC. Many angry locals blamed the Syrian regime militia, known as the “shabiha,” for the deaths, and the UN mission head, Maj-Gen Robert Mood, described the killings in Houla as being “indiscriminate and unforgivable.” He said observers counted 85 bodies and that 34 of the dead were children under the age of 10.
One man speaking from Houla said appeals to seven of the UN monitors, while the attacks happened, were ignored. “We told them the massacre is being committed right now at Houla by the mercenaries of this regime and they just refused to come and stop the massacre.”
Syria’s government, however, has blamed these deaths on “armed terrorist gangs.” Since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, this attack seems to be one of the bloodiest in one single area.
Meanwhile, CNN reports a spokesman for the Free Syrian Movement, Lt. Bassim al-Khaled, warns that more bloodshed is coming. Al-Khaled believes that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is just using the cease-fire and peace plan to kill more people. “So the only language this regime is going to understand is the language of the gun. Wait and see, we will make them pay for each drop of blood which was shed,” al-Khaled told media.
Despite the deployment now of 250 UN observers across Syria to observe a cease-fire/peace plan brokered by Kofi Annan, one journalist from the BBC describes it plainly as being “fictional.”
At least 10,000 people have died in Syria since the protests began, says the UN. Opposition groups put the number of killed at more than 11,000.