AFP reports: The Syrian army kept up its bombardment of rebel strongholds on Sunday despite an international outcry over the killing of 92 people, a third of them children, in the shelling of a central town.
Arab and Western governments expressed outrage at the “massacre” in the town of Houla on Friday and Saturday.
But the rebel Free Syrian Army warned that unless the international community took concrete action it would no longer be bound by a UN-backed peace plan that was supposed to start with a ceasefire last month.
Government troops raked rebel neighbourhoods of the central city of Hama with heavy machinegun fire, while the town of Rastan to its south came under artillery fire for a 14th straight day, a human rights watchdog said.
Rebel fighters who pulled out of the flashpoint central city of Homs earlier this year in the face of a devastating assault by the army are holed up in Rastan, activists say.
“The town is being hit at a rate of two shells a minute,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad also clashed with rebel fighters in the town of Harasta near Damascus.
The head of the UN military observer mission overseeing the ceasefire that was supposed to take effect on Apil 12 called what happened in Houla a “brutal tragedy.”
“This morning UN military and civilian observers went to Houla and counted more than 32 children and over 60 adults killed,” Major General Robert Mood told reporters in Damascus on Saturday.
“Whoever started, whoever responded and whoever carried out this deplorable act of violence should be held responsible,” Mood said.
“Those using violence for their own agendas will create more instability, more unpredictability and may lead the country to civil war,” he added.