Human Rights Watch Denounces Syrian Opposition Tactics
Human Rights Watch said Tuesday the opposition's resorting to kidnapping, detention and torture of members of Syria's armed forces was inexcusable, despite the "brutal tactics" employed by the regime.
Meanwhile, Russia has continued to support Syria. The Associated Press reported that allegiance has remained strong even as other major powers have denounced the regime.
From the AP:
Both Russia and China have protected Syria from U.N. sanctions, although Moscow recently has shown some signs that it was losing patience with Assad's harsh stance.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told lawmakers last week that the Syrian leader has been slow to implement long-needed reforms, warning that the conflict could spiral out of control.
He also complained in a weekend interview with Russian state television about the "unproportional" use of force by the government troops and said that Moscow disagrees with many of the decisions made by the Syrian leadership.
"We are supporting the need to start a political process, and to do that it's necessary to have a cease-fire first," Lavrov said. "Russia will do everything for that, irrespective of the decisions made by the Syrian government. We disagree with many of those, by the way."
The Syrian National Council responded to the concerns. Member Sheikh Ana Airout told CNN:
"For a year now, the Syrian opposition didn't resort to any unacceptable act against any pro-Assad civilian or even the soldiers who are killing our people. We encourage our free men to show mercy to our captives because we want to prove to the world that we are better than the Assad regime and we will always be. We do not want to repeat the regime's same mistakes. Saying that, we have to keep it in mind that when we see the killing machine of Assad and his thugs slaughtering our people every hour of the day and the whole world is sitting aside and watching, we know and we understand that there would be some elements who would commit such acts."
But for the most part, members of opposition appear to feel justified in their tactics—especially in light of 23-year-old Abdul Rahman Orfalli's death Tuesday. According to reports, Assad's regime launched another attack in Homs, killing Orfalli, who was one of the initial organizers in the city's first protests last year.
So far, U.N. officials have put the death toll of the Syrian uprisings—on both sides—at around 8,000 people.
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