DAMASCUS, Syria (Dec. 03) – At least 25 people were killed on Saturday as a new wave of violence spreading across Syria. Most of the killings were resulted by a battle between government troops and a emergent force of army defectors who have joined the movement to throw out the dictatorial ruler, President Bashar Assad, activists said.
Inspired by the popular Arab spring; the uprising against President Assad's rule started with peaceful demonstrations in mid-March this year, prompting a vicious onslaught. The conflict has gradually become bloodier as defectors and some civilians take up arms, forcing the United Nations' human rights chief to refer to it this week as a civil war and pushed the international community to protect Syrian civilians.
|Violence intensifies in Syria|
Arab League has actively been trying to ease out the mounting tensions between the pro and anti-Assad forces; but all the efforts have gone in vain, including the economic and diplomatic sanctions by the United States, the European Union, Turkey and the 22-member Arab League.
Sanctions announced last week by Arab League, including cutting off transactions with the Syrian central bank, stopping Arab government funding for projects in Syria and freezing government assets, were effective immediately
The northwestern city of Idlib,near the Turkish border, was the focal point of the worst violence and clashes on Saturday.
According to figures provided by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - British-based group of Syrian activists; the wee hour clashes between regime forces and defectors killed seven soldiers and policemen, as well as five defectors and three civilians were also killed in the clashes.
Elsewhere, security forces killed one civilian in the southern province of Daraa, six in the central region of Homs and three others in areas near Idlib, the observatory said. The recent killings pushed the death toll close to 4,600, according to a leading activist group.