Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, March 2, 2012

Aid trucks turned away from Syrian neighborhood amid reports of executions (But is it true?)

A day after Syrian forces overran the Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr, opposition groups said Friday that government forces had executed 14 civilians there and the Red Cross said an aid convoy seeking to deliver food and medical care was turned back.

"It is unacceptable that people who have been in need of emergency assistance for weeks have still not received any help," said International Committee of the Red Cross President Jakob Kellenberger. "We are staying in Homs tonight in the hope of entering Baba Amr in the very near future. In addition, many families have fled Baba Amr, and we will help them as soon as we possibly can."

Amid claims by opposition groups that Syrian officials were keeping aid workers out of Baba Amr to conceal atrocities, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cited reports of summary executions, arbitrary detentions and torture and called for an immediate end to the violence and for humanitarian aid agencies to be granted unfettered access.

Syria's U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari, said his government has been the victim of "extremely virulent rhetoric" based on "hearsay" from the opposition.

"We are not claiming that the situation in those regions is perfect; we do not deny that there has been a deterioration in the quality of services provided by the state in those regions, but the primary reason for this is the armed attacks," he said, alluding to repeated government assertions that foreign terrorists are behind the violence. more