The Syrian army launched an assault Tuesday, March 6 on several cities, notably in the area of Deraa, cradle of the revolt in the south, when Russia said it had no intention of changing its position vis-à-vis its Syrian ally.
Sixteen people died in the violence, especially during a major assault on the city of Hirak in the province of Deraa, reported Observatroire Syrian Human Rights (OSDH). A girl has been shot dead and five soldiers were killed in heavy fighting against the Syrian Army free (ASL, which covers several deserters), the organization says, citing a heavy artillery shelling of homes and mosques.
"COMBATING TERRORISM BACKED BY FOREIGN"
While President Barack Obama said he was "shocked" by the violence, his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad affirmed its determination to combat "terrorism supported by the alien," remarks he repeated since the beginning of the revolt against his regime there nearly a year. This declaration came on the eve of the arrival in the country responsible for the operations of UN humanitarian Valerie Amos to try to secure humanitarian access "unfettered" and that, three days later, the outfall UN and Arab League Kofi Annan.
After taking Thursday Baba Amro, rebellious district of Homs (center) devastated by a month of bombing, the regime's forces now beset other bastions of ASL in the region, including Rastane (20 km from Homs), declared city "free" on February 5 and regularly shelled since. A Baba Amr Similarly, the regime claims to have seized, in addition to weapons, "a reconnaissance aircraft" used by "terrorist groups". At the gates of this district, the International Red Cross was negotiating for the fifth consecutive day the entrance of a convoy of emergency aid locked out, said Saleh Dabbakeh, his spokesman in Damascus.
"CLEAR THE TRACKS"
The authorities have advanced safety reasons, particularly the presence of bombs and mines, to justify this delay denounced by the international community. This is mainly to "bury or burn the corpses and the traces" of the regime's crimes "so that the ICRC does not notice anything," said Hadi Abdullah, an activist in Homs of the General Committee of the revolution Syrian, in reference to the hundreds of victims of violence in this neighborhood.
The British television Channel 4 aired footage shot Monday in her hidden camera in a military hospital in Homs, suggesting the use of torture on patients. Moreover, in the morning, the army bombed a bridge, which handles the majority of refugees and wounded to neighboring Lebanon, making it impractical, announced the OSDH, without mentioning victims. Some 2,000 refugees have flooded into Lebanon since the weekend, according to the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which identified 7,058 Syrian refugees in Lebanon since the beginning of the revolt.
DRAFT RESOLUTION Sweetened
The permanent members of UN Security and Morocco discussed in closed session Tuesday's U.S. draft resolution on the Syrian crackdown on the uprising, many Western powers think it is too watered down. It is not known yet if this text is more likely to be adopted as the first two, which Russia and China vetoed. A diplomat who requested anonymity, however, ruled out the possibility of a vote in the near future, if ever the project comes before the Security Council.
According to a copy obtained by Reuters, it requires "an unrestricted humanitarian access (...), condemns the numerous, systematic and gross human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Syrian authorities, and requests the Government Syria to put an immediate end. " He also claimed the release "of all persons arbitrarily detained".
Former Chinese ambassador to Damascus, Li Huaxin, will hold talks Wednesday in Damascus with the Syrian foreign minister, Walid Moallem, and opposition leaders to present an initiative in Beijing aimed at resolving the crisis that is bleeding the country, according to Syrian press.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Sunday a six-point initiative for a political solution in Syria, which includes provisions for the immediate cessation of violence and open a dialogue between the regime and opposition. The initiative rejected any foreign interference or "external action for regime change" and supports the role of the Security Council of the UN "in strict accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations. "
Mr. Li also scheduled to meet with representatives of the opposition, including the National Committee for Democratic Change (NCCD) led by Hassan Abdel Azim, the current for nation building (NEC), chaired by Louay Hussein and the Popular Front for Change and release (FPCL), led by Kadri Jamil, according to Al-Watan.
EGYPT WILL NOT ARM ASL
The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Amr Mohammed, warned on Wednesday in a statement, a civil war against Syria if weapons were supplied to the opposition. Arming the opposition and its military wing, the Syrian Army free (ASL), a force composed mostly of deserters, "would lead to an escalation in military conflict and spark a civil war in Syria," said a statement from Mr. Amr.
The Syrian National Council (CNS), the main body of the opposition, said last week wanting to arrange deliveries of arms to rebels Syrian, with a "military office" newly created. Some Arab countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have expressed support for the arming of the ASL. This idea is officially ruled by Western countries, which fear the arrival of jihadists with the rebels.