UN condemns Syrian government for 'violations of human rights'

The Takeaway

Protests in Syria in April 2011. (Photo: Flickr user syriana2011)

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Syria's government is attempting to crush the democratic uprising, sending tanks, armored vehicles and snipers into the rebellious city of Hama for the fourth straight day of Ramadan. Unverified footage taken from YouTube and obtained by The New York Times depicts tanks shooting at civilians.

Human rights groups say more than 140 people have been killed since Sunday, compounding a civilian death toll of more than 1,600 since March. The United Nations Security Council condemned the crackdown.

"The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the deteriorating situation in Syria, and expresses profound regret at the deaths of many hundreds of people," said Hardeep Singh Puri, Chairman of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee. "The Security Council condemns the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities."

Joshua Landis is director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of the daily email newsletter Syria Comment. He told The Takeaway the UN's condemnation is not a Security Council resolution, and therefore "has no action to it."

"This is going to become increasingly a bloody battle," he said.

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