US Calls Syrian Anti-Protest Actions ‘Barbaric’ (Voice of America)
State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters that U.S. officials are “very disturbed” about credible reports of military operations in Daraa that include tanks.
“We’ve seen reports the Syrian government is conducting a widespread campaign of arbitrary arrests that target young men in Daraa,” said Toner. “It’s also our understanding that electricity, communications and other public services have been cut off for several days, and that the humanitarian situation there is quite grave. These are, quite frankly, barbaric measures, and they amount to the collective punishment of innocent civilians.”
President Assad who commands an army division operating in Daraa.
Asked whether the Syrian president might become a target of U.S. sanctions, spokesman Toner said options for further U.S. action “remain on the table.”
Amnesty International said Tuesday that it has received first-hand reports of torture and other ill-treatment of Syrian detainees as a wave of arrests of anti-government protesters intensified last weekend.
Amnesty’s international advocacy director, T. Kumar, says the tactics suggest that the Assad government has embarked on a “full blown crackdown” to crush the protest movement.
“What we have found recently is that on top of mass killings, using heavy weapons on civilian protesters, we also learned that those who have been arrested for peacefully demonstrating have been beaten up, tortured,” said Kumar. “They also experienced harsh detention conditions.”
An Amnesty International statement says protesters who …. Read more