Details of a battle challenge reports of a Syrian massacre

The New York Times reports: New details emerging Saturday about what local Syrian activists called a massacre of civilians near the central city of Hama indicated that it was more likely an uneven clash between the heavily armed Syrian military and local fighters bearing light weapons.

The United Nations observers still on the ground in Syria sent a team in 11 vehicles to the village of Tremseh on Saturday to investigate what had happened, said Sausan Ghosheh, the spokeswoman for the monitors in Damascus, the capital.

Their initial report said the attack appeared to target “specific groups and houses, mainly of army defectors and activists,” Ms. Ghosheh said in a statement. It said a range of weapons had been used, including artillery, mortars and small arms.

The report seemed to indicate that some people had been killed at close range — it said there were pools of blood and blood spatters in several houses along with bullet cases. The team also found a burned school and damaged houses.

The number of casualties remains unclear, it said, but the United Nations team planned to return on Sunday to continue investigating.

Before the United Nations team entered the town, a combination of videos, televised confessions of numerous captured fighters and reports from activists outside the area all indicated that a battle on Thursday between the military and local fighters in Tremseh, a village of 11,000 people about 22 miles northwest of Hama, resulted in a slaughter of rebel forces.

The videos that have emerged so far online, the source of much of the information on any fighting that is available outside Syria, have shown the victims to be young men of fighting age. One showed 15 bodies. Another one, said to show a group of reinforcements being sent to Tremseh, also showed a group of young men in civilian clothes carrying their personal weapons.

There were also new questions about the death toll, with initial figures from activists of more than 160 and other reports putting the toll at more than 200. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group based in Britain that has a network of contacts in Syria, said that it had been able to confirm only 103 names, and 90 percent of them were young men. There were no women’s names on the list of 103 victims obtained from activists in Homs.

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3 thoughts on “Details of a battle challenge reports of a Syrian massacre

  1. dickerson3870

    RE: “Details of a battle challenge reports of a Syrian massacre”

    ALSO SEE: “Covering Syria: The information war”, By Aisling Byrne, Asia Times, 7/12/12

    The narrative that has been constructed by the Western mainstream media on Syria may seem to be self-evident from the scenes presented on television, but it is a narrative duplicitously promoted and coordinated so as to conceal and facilitate the regime-change project that is part of the war on Iran.
    What we are seeing is a new stage of information war intentionally constructed and cast as a simplistic narrative of a struggle for human rights and democracy so as deliberately to exclude other interpretations and any geo-strategic motivation.
    The narrative, as CNN puts it, is in essence this: “The vast majority of reports from the ground indicate that government forces are killing citizens in an attempt to wipe out civilians seeking [President Bashar] al-Assad’s ouster” – the aim being precisely to elicit a heart-wrenching emotional response in Western audiences that trumps all other considerations and makes the call for Western/Gulf intervention to effect regime change.
    But it is a narrative based on distortion, manipulation, lies and videotape. . .


  2. dickerson3870

    We have apparently reached the point where Asia Times, Russia Today, and Iran’s Press TV have more accurate coverage of matters related to U.S. foreign policy than does the mainstream/corporate* media in the U.S.!
    * what Ray McGovern calls “the fawning corporate media (FCM)”

  3. Paul Woodward

    Beware of commentary coming from anyone who has a deep personal investment in the outcome of the conflict, yet casts themselves as an impartial observer.

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