Today, the Syrian National Council warned of imminent massacre in the city of Homs claiming that thousands of Syrian troops and militias were encircling the city. Homs has been one of the primary cities where protestors have demonstrated against President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime and has faced continuous violent crackdowns by Syrian forces. At least 30 Syrians were killed today including three children in Homs and in other protests throughout the country.
According to Syrian activists an estimated 1,500 people have been killed in the conflict stricken city of Homs alone. In a concerning development, military and militia forces have set up over 60 checkpoints outside of the city in addition to a rapid troop buildup, according the SNC. Yesterday, a major oil pipeline carrying crude from oilfields in the east was blown up near Homs, in another blow to the oil sector which has already been significantly impacted as a result of European Union sanctions.
In an interview by Barbara Walters earlier this week, Assad denied responsibility for the deaths of Syrian protestors and claimed that reports of government attacks against civilians are not credible. Assad claimed that he does not feel guilty since he has not killed anyone and stated that “no government in the world would kill its own people unless it was led by a crazy person” which speaks volumes either of his obliviousness or insanity. Below is a video of his interview with Walters.