WORLD NEWS TOMORROW | WNT NEWS – SYRIA : More than 200 Syrians, mostly civilians, were massacred in Tremseh, near Hama, when it was bombarded by helicopter gunships and tanks and then stormed by militiamen who carried out execution-style killings, opposition activists said.
The UN’s monitoring mission in Syria confirmed the use of heavy weapons in Tremseh including tanks and helicopters, before the alleged massacre took place. General Robert Mood, the head of the mission, said military operations were continuing and his monitors had been prevented from entering Tremseh.
International envoy Kofi Annan said the Syrian government’s use of heavy weapons in Tremseh was a violation of its apparent commitment to his peace plan. He said he was “shocked and appalled” by reports from Tremseh. Annan is due to hold talks with Russia on Monday.
The Syrian government blamed the killings on “terrorists”. The state news agency accused elements of the media of spreading “lies and fabrications” as a way of prompting foreign intervention against Syria.
The opposition Syrian National Council has repeated its call for the UN security council to pass a binding resolution against the Assad government in the wake of the killings. Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague said diplomats in New York will continue to press for a Chapter VII resolution in the face of repeated objections from Russia.
Firas Tlass, the businessman brother of defected general Manaf Tlass, still sees a role for Bashar al-Assad in Syria. In an interview with Asharq al-Awsat he said the most suitable solution for Syria would be for Assad to hand power to a joint council .”which is what we might call a mixture of the Egyptian and Yemeni solutions”.
A Russian cargo ship carrying military helicopters and air-defence equipment for the Syria government, is on the move again after being forced to turn back last month when a British company revoked its insurance, the New York Times reports. The Alaed is heading south off Norway’s northern coast.
5.05pm: Mousab al-Hamadee an opposition activist who lives 20km north of Tremseh has an account of the alleged massacre in the village based on the ordeal of his sister who fled Tremseh morning.
People from a neighbouring opposition village travelled to Tremseh to warn villages of a possible attack by shabiha militia from al-Safsafeyeh, a nearby Alawite village, he via Skype. They urged women and children to flee Tremseh, he said.
Today more than 70 people were buried, he claimed “The rest of the martyrs are still left in the fields, they couldn’t reach them until now,” he said.