U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the reported events in Mazraat al-Qubeir as “unspeakable barbarity,” while the White House condemned the “outrageous targeted killings of civilians” and again called on other countries to halt support for Assad.
Opposition activists said up to 40 women and children were among those killed in the Sunni Muslim village near Hama on Wednesday, posting film on the Internet of bloodied or charred bodies.
“There was smoke rising from the buildings and a horrible smell of human flesh burning,” said a Mazraat al-Qubeir resident who told how he had watched Syrian troops and “shabbiha” gunmen attack his village as he hid in his family’s olive grove.
“It was like a ghost town,” he told Reuters by telephone, asking not to be identified because he feared for his safety.
“After the shabbiha and tanks left, the first thing I did was run to my house. It was burned. All seven people from my house were killed. I saw bodies on the stairs, the bathroom and bedroom. They were all burned,” the witness said.
The latest killings, less than two weeks after 108 men, women and children were slain in the town of Houla, piled pressure on world powers to halt the carnage in Syria, but they have been paralyzed by rifts pitting Western and most Arab states against Assad’s defenders in Russia, China and Iran.
Ban, addressing a special U.N. General Assembly session on the crisis, again urged Assad to implement international envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan immediately. Reuters