July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Syrian security forces were said to have killed dozens more people as clashes persisted two days after one of the bloodiest massacres in the country’s 17-month conflict.
Syrian forces killed 52 civilians, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said in an e-mailed statement today. Five people, including a pregnant woman, died during government shelling of the central city of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a separate statement. At least five soldiers died in the fighting there, according to the U.K.-based group.
The international community has failed to put an end to the conflict, which the opposition says has left more than 17,000 Syrians dead. International pressure on President Bashar al- Assad’s government must continue, French President Francois Hollande said today in a televised interview.
The UN Security Council will vote July 18 in New York on a Western-drafted resolution threatening Assad with measures such as sanctions. The three-month mandate for the UN’s Syrian mission expires July 20.
Efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict have put the U.S. and its European allies at odds with Russia. The Western nations signaled they won’t support an extension of a UN observer mission in Syria unless real pressure is put on Assad. Their draft proposes a 45-day extension. Russia proposed July 10 an alternative resolution that would extend the monitors’ stay for 90 days.
Knives, Blunt Objects
Turkey’s prime minister warned Syria’s leaders that the Syrian people will “make them pay” for killings by government forces, the Associated Press reported. Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the violence as “the footsteps of a regime that is on its way out,” AP said.
A UN peacekeeping team arrived in Tremseh village, in Hama province, where people refused to let them in because they were with Syrian forces, the Local Coordination Committee said in an e-mailed statement today.
The opposition Syrian National Council said as many as 305 people were killed in a July 12 assault on the Sunni Muslim village. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates more than 150 people died when government forces stormed the village.
“Dozens were summarily executed,” the group said. “Some were killed by knives, blunt objects. Some of those killed were from neighboring villages.” The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, citing an unidentified military official, said the deaths were the result of a clash between security forces and “terrorist” groups after local residents called for help.
A call to the mobile phone of Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar to seek comment on today’s reported incidents wasn’t answered.
--With assistance from Stepan Kravchenko in Moscow, Flavia Krause-Jackson at the United Nations, Donna Abu-Nasr in Beirut and Zaid Sabah Abd Alhamid in Washington. Editors: John Deane, Kristen Hallam, Marthe Fourcade.