Analysis

Syria: Regime Escalates Crackdown Amid a Serious Charge Against the Rebels
UN/Arab League Syria peace envoy Kofi Annan, left, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, center, and Dr. Nabil El-Araby, Secretary-General, League of Arab States, hold a joint press conference to discuss the Syrian crisis at UN headquarters in New York, June 7, 2012. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
June 12, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
Despite the Syrian regime’s use of new “horrific” tactics, reportedly including helicopter gunships and children as “human shields” to defend against rebel attacks, the international community continues to bicker on how to respond. While Syrian rebels appear to be stepping up their attacks on government forces, they remain divided and their international support could be undermined by a German press report accusing them of responsibility for the Houla massacre.

Intense government-rebel fighting continued for a fourth day today with reports of 50 killed yesterday. The UN reported heavy government shelling yesterday of the towns of Homs, Rastan, and Khaldiyeh. The UN raised concerns of civilians trapped in rebel stronghold towns, including Haffa, which the U.S. State Department said yesterday could soon be the site of a fifth massacre by government forces and pro-government militias. 

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