The Syrian government’s offensive in northern Syria has created a human rights crisis and despite the efforts of Syrian authorities to prevent access to the country, Human Rights Watch researchers are interviewing citizens inside Syria.
The covert research team announced Saturday that Syrian security forces have killed hundreds of peaceful protesters and arbitrarily arrested thousands, many of whom, including children, have been beaten and tortured, according to a press release issued today.
To add insult to injury, Syrian officials are not allowing the International Committee for the Red Cross access to the region to care for the needs of wounded individuals, detainees, and internally displaced civilians, according to ICRC officials.
Global contempt is growing daily and human rights advocates say Syria’s leaders will not provide aid to their own civilians and are destroying their own people.
Diplomats on Saturday also said they feared civil war as Syria sent in 15,000 troops backed by tanks for “surgical operation” on Jisr al-Shughour.
White House spokesman Jay Carney issued a statement Friday after Syrian forces killed at least 25 people in nationwide democracy protests and as security forces launched a long-feared crackdown on the northwestern flashpoint town of Jisr al-Shughur.
“The United States strongly condemns the Syrian government’s outrageous use of violence across Syria today and particularly in the northwestern region,” Carney said.
“There must be an immediate end to the brutality and violence.”
United Nations Security Council members should support a resolution demanding an immediate end to the Syrian government’s brutal crackdown against largely peaceful demonstrators, Human Rights Watch said Saturday.
According to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “non-governmental organizations and others are now reporting that the number of men, women and children killed since the Syrian protests began in March has jumped to 1,100, with up to 10,000 or more detained.”
U.S. officials are warning President Bashar al-Assad was leading his nation on a “dangerous path.”
The Human Rights Watch organization is an independent group that holds oppressors accountable for their crimes.
On Saturday afternoon, the organization reported from Karbeyaz, which is a village close to the Syrian border. Human rights members said Turkish authorities have been ferrying new Syrian refugees from the border to a tobacco factory in the town of Altınözü.
Turkish authorities are providing food, shelter, and medical treatment to the thousands of refugees, but are preventing journalists, activists, and local residents from speaking to the refugees.
Turkey, another emerging power and a neighbor of Syria, has also condemned the violence in no uncertain terms.
Most recently, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose country was on the Security Council in 2009 and 2010, denounced the Syrian government’s violent crackdown as a “barbarity” that is “inhumane” and “cannot be digested,” according to media reports.
“The Security Council’s complete silence in the face of mass atrocities against the people of Syria is emboldening the Syrian government in its bloody crackdown,” said Philippe Bolopion, U.N. director at Human Rights Watch.
“A veto by Russia and China to protect the Syrian government and block efforts to stop the killings would be a serious betrayal of Syria’s beleaguered citizens.”
Human Rights Watch’s research indicates that the protests are overwhelmingly peaceful. The organization has documented a few instances where civilians used force, including cases of deadly violence against security forces, which appear to be operating under “shoot-to-kill” orders.
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