Killings continue despite Russia’s urge
Syrians attend a mass funeral for more a dozen of people, whom anti-government protesters said were killed during clashes with Syrian forces in Homs. REUTERS photoRussia yesterday urged Syria to cooperate with the Red Cross to allow the relief agency to deliver aid, after Syrian forces shelled an opposition stronghold in Hama province, killing 20 people, yesterday and hit rebel-held parts of Homs.
“It is important that the Syrian government cooperates with the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov told a special meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva called to discuss the humanitarian situation there. President Bashar al-Assad however sent units of an elite armored division, which is led by his brother Maher, into Homs overnight, activists said. Tanks with the words “Fourth Division Monsters” painted on them moved close to the besieged Baba Amro district. Activists said the 20 deaths of Sunni Muslim villagers there were among at least 100 killed in the province in the last two weeks in revenge for rebel Free Syrian Army attacks on security forces commanded by members of Assad’s minority Alawite sect. Tunisia offered to give al-Assad political asylum if that helps to end a crackdown on the near-year-old uprising against his rule. Kurdistan Regional Government said on Feb. 27 it has granted refugee status to 30 Kurdish Syrian troops who defected to the region. “We received them for humanitarian reasons, we gave them refugee status,” said Anwar Haji Othman, Kurdish deputy minister for the local security forces.
Compiled from AFP, AP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.