The grim numbers vary and independent observers haven’t yet been able to get to the scene. But there’s word from Syria of what may be the single worst day of bloodshed so far in what’s become a long line of such horrible events since protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad began in March 2011:
— “Syrian security forces killed as many as 200 people in the town of Tremseh, in central Hama province, according to anti-government activists.” (Bloomberg Businessweek)
— “More than 200 Syrians, mostly civilians, were massacred in a village in the rebellious Hama region when it was bombarded by helicopter gunships and tanks and then stormed by militiamen who carried out execution-style killings, opposition activists said.” (Reuters)
— “In its latest update the British-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights said 160 people were killed in Tremseh, fewer than activist groups in the area claim. … The head of the UN’s monitoring mission Robert Mood has confirmed the continuing use of heavy weapons, including helicopters, in Tremseh.” (The Guardian)
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has been trying to broker a ceasefire in Syria, says he is “shocked and appalled” by the reports.
As we said, news of mass killings in Syria is becoming all too familiar. Some of our earlier reports:
— “Syrian Militia Blamed In Latest Killing.” (March 12)
Syrian activists estimate at least 17,000 people have been killed since the protests began. The U.N. has blamed most of the deaths on government forces and militias loyal to Assad. The regime blames “terrorists.”