More than 200 people are reported to have been killed in the Syrian village of Tremseh, as government shelling from land and air was followed up by pro-Assad militia "death squads".
At 6am on 12/07 tanks, armoured cars, and soldiers besieged the city, cutting communication and power lines. Pro-Assad militia forces or "shabiha" from al-Safsafeyeh with residents fearing that they will commit:
A massacre similar to that of Qubair, which they were the perpetrators of
The Syrian military shelled the village with tanks and there are reports of helicopter gunships attacking from the air. After the assault, activists on the ground are saying that the shabiha went house-to-house through the village executing local civilians with knives. A statement by the Hama Revolutionary Council said:
More than 220 people fell today in Traimseh. They died from bombardment by tanks and helicopters, artillery shelling and summary executions.
If confirmed, the Tremseh massacre would be the bloodiest event of the Syrian uprising to date, the uprising against Bashar al-Assad's regime in which 16,000 people are believed to have been killed since it began in March 2011.
The state-run SANA news agency made no mention of the total death toll or militia involvement, describing the event as clashes between the army and an armed terrorist groups.
The situation in Syria continues to escalate with the Syrian army shelling areas in the capital Damascus as well as twelve other areas across the country with a reported 18 protests - 14 of which were fired upon by the Syrian military according to the Hama Revolutionary Council. If confirmed, the Tremseh massacre would be the bloodiest event of the Syrian uprising to date.
Protests are going on around Syria in support of those killed in Tremseh with with videos of the protests coming from Tadamon, Taftanaz, Kafranbel, Talbisah, and Houla where a similar massacre took place in May.
Evidence of the violence is escalating with a report charting the Assad government forces' use of rape to terrorize its people, and news leaking out about the Syrian military using cluster bombs in two videos reported by Human Rights Watch which show:
Soviet-produced unexploded submunitions and a bomb canister, apparently found in Jabal Shahshabu, a mountainous area near Hama.
As the uprising continues, Iran is increasing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exports to Syria in the face of international sanctions, but even some British companies are still operating for exports to Syria according to a cross-party group of MPs in the Committees on Arms Export Controls, including one for bulletproof military vehicles.
These reports came after Nawaf al-Fares, the former Syrian ambassador to Iraq defected, and the UN Security Council held their first talks on rival Russian and Western draft resolutions on Syria, with Moscow continuing to reject any calls for sanctions against the Assad regime. Little progress appears to being made by the international body, with the madate for the UN-mission to the country ending on July 20th.