Attacks and explosions hit Syrian cities amid news of massacre near Homs
- Year: 2013
- Length: 2:27 minutes (2.25 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
In Syria today, violence continued in a number of cities, including Aleppo where an estimated 20 people were killed, according to reports from activists and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Video posted online purportedly taken in Deraa shows a large plume of black smoke rising from a building on the horizon before a flash of light and another explosion sends more smoke into the sky. A car bomb also was reported at a refugee camp there, killing a number of civilians. More footage purportedly of the aftermath of strikes in Idlib showed two young boys, bloodied and unresponsive, lying on the floor.
In Kafranbel, near Idlib, students protested the attacks at Aleppo University earlier this week in which more than 80 were killed and many more injured. Some held a banner reading: "Aleppo University Massacre Proved That Pro-Humanity Claimants Are Actually Pro-Terrorism By Ignoring Assad's Violations."
Details of another mass killing in the village of Haswiya, near Homs also started emerging. A BBC reporter visited the area and saw charred bodies, blood stains, dozens of bullet casings and gutted homes. Activists say more than 100 were killed, all civilians. There are conflicting reports on who is responsible, some blaming the Syrian government, others the Islamist militant group, Jabhat al-Nusra. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict in less than two years. The United Nations estimates that four million people inside Syria need humanitarian aid. Panos Moumtzis is the UN Refugee Coordinator for Syrian Refugees. He says the conflict has created the fastest growing regional humanitarian disaster in the world.
“The number one concern we have for inside Syria is the protection of civilians. We constantly hear reports and stories of displacement, but also when we interview refugees who have just crossed the border I’m afraid we constantly hear these horrific stories of their experiences and what they have gone through in order to reach safety and reach one of the neighboring countries.”
More than 600,000 have fled Syria and many report rape as the primary reason their families left the country.