Syria Troops Accused of More Civilian Killings

Following the U.N. Security Council’s condemnation Wednesday of the rights abuses and excessive use of force against civilians in Syria, human rights activists have reported the killings of at least four more protesters by Syrian security forces August 3 evening.

The attacks are the latest in a five-month campaign of terror led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to the pro-democracy demonstrations by the Syrian people that began in March.

With as many as 1,700 Syrians having been killed since demonstrations began in March, the recent attacks upon protestors opposed to President Bashar al-Assad came following night prayers late Wednesday evening in the capital, Damascus.

According to Reuters, one diplomat in the Syrian capital has reported, “Syrian authorities have expelled most independent media, making it difficult to verify witness accounts and official statements” in relation to the regime’s use of tanks against peaceful protesters.

Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, declared today: “President Bashar al-Assad needs to listen to the council’s strong message, and end the attacks by his security forces in Hama and across the country.”

However, Wednesday evening’s attacks seem to be a clear message from the Syrian President that his security forces will continue their violent crackdown on civilians.

The U.N. has taken a stern yet diplomatic stance in its statement released Wednesday, however, the United States and the European Union have taken more proactive measures in the past months to put a stop to President Assad’s brutal campaign against his own people. Travel bans have been imposed and a freezing the Syrian President’s assets have been put in place.

The White House has made its position relatively clear, with White House spokesman Jay Carney expressing that “Syria would be a better place without President Assad.”

Members of the U.S. Congress have additionally appealed to President Obama to impose further sanctions on foreign companies who do business with Syria’s energy sector.

In a surprising statement by a historically close-ally to President Assad, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Arinc Bulent condemned the killings saying, “What’s going on in Hama today is an atrocity…whoever carries this out can’t be our friend.”

Drawing reactions from the entire international community, whether they be diplomatic condemnations and rhetoric or tangible sanctions, the question remains what measures in the end will actually convince President Bashar al-Assad to end this bloody crackdown before more Syrian blood is shed?