The violence in Syria is increasing, despite international encouragement to find a peaceful resolution to the 16 month-long conflict. It seems, though, that a peace plan by U.N. international envoy Kofi Annan has not helped, but that instead the breakdown after the cease-fire failed is more bloody and violent than before.
The Huffington Post reports that the United Nations confirmed the rise in violence on Wednesday, suggesting that government troops may have been behind the vicious attack on Houla last month that lead to the loss of more than 100 civilians.
Because of the escalating violence, senior diplomats announced that world powers will meet on Saturday in an attempt to end the bloodshed. Those slated to join in the talks include U,S, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as other top diplomats from the U.N. Security Council nations and possibly neighbors of Syria.
According to The Guardian, even Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad confirmed that the crisis is now “a real war,” pledging to do everything necessary to win. This is the first time Assad has not said that the uprising should be blamed on “armed terrorist gangs” backed by the west.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also described the gravity of the situation, saying that last week was the bloodiest yet. Rami Abdul-Rahman, the Observatory’s director, said that 916 people were killed between June 20th and 26th. Abdul-Rahman also stated that the death toll for Tuesday was 113, although the numbers have not been confirmed by anyone else.
The Washington Post reports that Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, who is heading the U.N. panel probing into allegations of human rights abuses in Syria has called the nation a “crime scene” and stated that investigators have prepared a list of people suspected of being responsible for crimes.
Of their probe into the Houla massacre, the panel has concluded that forces loyal to the government “may have been responsible for many of the deaths.” They concluded this because the military and pro-government shabiha forces had good access to the village during the massacre. Also, the village leans toward supporting the opposition. Most of the victims were women and children, who had been slaughtered in their homes.
Pinheiro stated to the U.N.’s top human rights body in Geneva that:
“The manner in which these killings took place resembles those previously and repeatedly documented to have been committed by the government.”
What do you think it will take to end the conflict in Syria?