Up To 70 Killed in Hama In a Bloc of Houses Explosion
Up to 70 people have been killed on Wednesday as a house exploded in the city of Hama, being destroyed by a bomb at a house used by “terrorist groups,” according to the state-run media, while the activists in the field say that it was caused by the government’s shelling or even a Scud attack missile.
Activists said on Thursday that several houses were destroyed in the Masha at-Tayyar district of Hama as a result of a big explosion. State media said 16 people were killed on the occasion as a blast occurred in a house used as a bomb factory of the “armed terrorist groups.” The explosion is said to have caused building to collapse, thus adding to the death toll.
Activists said that 13 children were killed and 15 women were among the victims, while video posted on the internet showed devastation, and bodies being pulled out of the rubble. State television showed pictures of injured children in hospital and said that a group which was making bombs detonated them accidentally.
Syrian National Council announced that about 100 people were killed in Hama in recent days, demanding the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting and issue a resolution by which they demand that the lives of the civilians be protected.
BBC reports that a video has emerged purportedly showing a person being buried alive by security forces, allegedly for sending material to a TV station. The authenticity of the video could not be confirmed.
The video shows an unnamed man, who is said to be a media activist, pleading for his life as he is covered with earth. What appear to be security forces are cursing him for receiving money to send videos to the Arabic-language satellite TV stations.
Local Coordination Committees in Syria say that the explosion in Hama is the deadliest attack since the uprising in Syria began and reflects the lack of commitment of president Bashar al-Assad to implement the ceasefire and curve violence in the country.
On Thursday, security forces are said to have fired on a demonstration that was coinciding with a general strike mourning the deaths from the day before. The Syrian National Council announced that it would continue to support the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting the regime on the ground, and accused the international community for continuing to cooperate with the regime in Damascus.
The ceasefire that entered into effect on April 12 was expected to curve violence completely, but it failed to do so, as the Syrian troops maintained a presence in the streets of the large cities, breaking the first step of the agreement with Kofi Annan, the special envoy for U.N.-Arab League.
The United Nations have voted a resolution last week by which they approved a 300-member observers mission to be deployed in the country, with a mission for three months, and a deployment date of 30 days since the ceasefire took effect.
The first 15 observers have already been deployed, and reported that the ceasefire is generally being observed but that there are places where violence still exists. Since the U.N. observers have entered the Syrian cities, people are said to be welcoming them demanding that the international community do something to protect them from the Assad regime.
Some of the people even demanded that a military intervention be deployed to remove Syrian president from power. Soon after the U.N. observers leave the cities, the activists in the field report, the security forces punish the people who spoke with them by firing upon them or shelling their neighborhoods. Activists report that this has evolved into some sort of pattern the Syrian troops apply every time the U.N. inspection is over and the observers leave the area.
The Syrian government said that the majority of troops and heavy artillery have already been withdrawn from the streets of the cities, and that the first step of the six-point agreement was thus observed, but satellite imagery shows them in place in the streets of the large cities.
The U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, on Wednesday expressed dismay at the news that the violence has been resumed in some parts of Syria, and that the Syrian government has made the decision to ban one U.N. observer from entering the country because of his nationality and announced that none of the “Friends of Syria” group of countries’ citizens could participate as observers. The Friends of Syria unites some 83 countries and international organization, among which are the United States, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
The decision made by the Syrian government regarding the permission granted to the U.N. observers to enter the country, and the fact that the violence is surging again have determined Alain Juppe, French Foreign Minister, to demand that a timeline be imposed on the ceasefire observance, saying that the results of the ceasefire agreement should be discussed in the United Nations Security Council on May 5, when a decision should be made based on the data U.N. envoy offers.
Juppe said that the Assad regime should not be allowed to defy the entire international community, and the Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter be invoked as a justification for a military intervention.
The Article 42 of the Chapter 7 offers the UNSC grounds to call for military intervention as soon as the measures provided by Article 41 have proved their inadequacy. The Article 41 refers to economic sanctions, diplomatic ties break-off and other peaceful means to protect against the threat to peace and stability in the world.
The Article 42 of the Chapter 7 has been invoked against the Libyan regime last year, when Assad’s regime has been removed as a result of a no-fly zone installed by NATO.11