Syrian Forces Have Carried Out More Than 100 Extrajudicial Executions, Says Rights Group

Government forces have carried out killings of civilians and opposition fighters in Homs and Idlib often in broad daylight and in front of witnesses, according to Human Rights Watch report.

Syrian government forces have executed more than 100 and possibly many more - civilians, and wounded or captured opposition fighters during recent attacks on restive areas in Homs and Idlib, Human Rights Watch reported on Monday.

"In a desperate attempt to crush the uprising, Syrian forces have executed people in cold blood, civilians and opposition fighters alike," said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at HRW.

"They are doing it in broad daylight and in front of witnesses, evidently not concerned about any accountability for their crimes," Solvang added.

The New York-based group called on the United Nations Security Council to ensure that any UN mission mandated to supervise the six-point plan brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan would be in a position to document such crimes. It said that videos were available to back their 25-page report.

Syria - Reuters - April 8, 2012

In Syria, government forces shelled restive areas in the central province of Homs, killing at least nine people and wounding 20. Shells had been targeting the areas of al-Khalidiyeh and Deir Baalaba since the early morning, activist Omar Homsi told DPA.

Activists in Syria said there was no sign of any troop withdrawal from any area of fighting, despite Syrian pledges made two weeks ago to Annan.

Damascus said Sunday it would not withdraw its troops from civilian areas without "written guarantees" from opposition rebels that they will also stop the violence.

Annan's plan calls upon President Bashar Assad's government to pull back its military by Tuesday, and for all parties - including the opposition - to cease violence within 48 hours of this withdrawal.

The opposition Free Syrian Army said it was never asked for guarantees, but vowed to respect their promises made to Annan.

Naji Tayyara, a member of the opposition Syrian National Council, told DPA that "the new demands by Syria are just another excuse given by the government so it would not have to abide by the plan and be able to continue their killing machine."

Meanwhile, a team led by Norwegian Major General Robert Mood has been in Damascus since last week trying to discuss how around 150-250 UN monitors might oversee a possible ceasefire.

More than 9,000 people have been killed since the conflict started in Syria in mid-March 2011, according to UN estimates.

Read this article in Hebrew: שעות לפני הפסקת האש || לפחות 100 מתנגדי משטר הוצאו להורג; טורקיה: סוריה פגעה בפליטים בשטחנו