Syrians in the besieged Damascus suburb of Douma recount the horror they have seen while they walk along a street lined with bodies. Residents wrapped the mangled and bloodied remains in white burial shrouds on Friday, after 190 people were killed in one of the nation’s deadliest days in the 16-month-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
The Huffington Post reports that more than 50 of those killed on Thursday were in Douma, which is located about 9 miles outside of Damascus, Syria’s capital.
The Syrian Observatory noted that 41 people were dead in Douma, though other activists put the toll at 59 or higher. Videos published on YouTube show rows of shrouded bodies lining a street in Douma, according to audio on the film. The man filming the scene walks along the street, while saying:
“Douma, the morning of June 29, 2012. This is the massacre committed against the people of Douma. God is our saviour. Two whole families are here (among the dead) … God help us.”
Reuters reports that President al-Assad has defended his position in fighting back against the Free Syrian Army, who he calls “terrorists.” He spoke with Iranian state television about the Houla massacre last month, which took the lives of over 100 civilians, proclaiming:
“The responsibility of the Syrian government is to protect all of our residents. You have a responsibility to annihilate terrorists in any corner of the country. When you eliminate a terrorist, it’s possible that you are saving the lives of tens, hundreds, or even thousands.”
A UN summit is expected this weekend, to address concerns about Syria’s conflict, which both sides and the UN have declared an all out war. The meeting is supposed to help international envoy Kofi Annan present his plan on a peaceful transition that includes both sides of the fighting–Assad’s regime and the Free Syrian army–although it does not include Assad himself, according to The Huffignton Post.
This resolution could be met with violent opposition from Assad and his regime forces, because Reuters reports that Bashar al-Assad has already declared that:
“We will not accept any non-Syrian, non-national model, whether it comes from big countries or friendly countries. No one knows how to solve Syria’s problems as well as we do.”
Russia also opposes any outside action to remove the government in Syria.