Syria has become a hotbed of bloodshed in the 15 months since the country’s people lead a revolt against the rule of their president, Bashar Assad. In total since March 2011, over 11,400 were killed so far, including 9,862 civilians, 3,470 soldiers and 783 army deserters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
No one, not even civilians, are safe from the shelling and gunfire that is taking place nearly on a daily basis. Some activists are now claiming that militia members supportive of the government are now targeting unarmed civilians. The latest massacre is believed to have taken place in the province of Hama where 78 people were killed.
The victims included women and children. Some of the bodies showed signs of stab punctures, while other bodies were burned. Blood is spilling on the street every day and all signs are pointing in the direction of civil war if nothing is done to put a stop to the senseless killings.
Just two weeks before, another mass killing took place in the city of Houla. A pro-Assad gang known as Shabbiha slaughtered 108 civilians; half of the confirmed dead were children. The town of Mazraat al-Qabeer and Maazarif have been heavily shelled by Syrian forces. After the shelling, that’s when members of Shabbiha entered the city and began the massacre.
The slayings have been witnessed by United Nation members who were sent to observe a ceasefire agreement set in place by envoy Kofi Annan. Both the government and rebel fighters have since called off the truce to ceasefire due to recent attacks.
The government has refused to comment on the massacres and has restricted ground access for the international media. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, is calling for an immediate investigation.
Until there is deeper international involvement, it looks like there are no plans for either the government or rebels to lay down their arms. This means that similar massacres will likely take place in the coming weeks and months. The death tally is expected to rise.