Analysis: What lies behind the Syrian massacres?

Analysis: What lies behind the Syrian massacres?

The slaughter in Treimsa follows a familiar pattern, suggesting that a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing may now be under way in Syria.

The slaughter in Treimsa follows a familiar pattern, suggesting that a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing may now be under way in Syria.

Government forces are accused of initiating the attacks, using artillery, tanks and even helicopter gunships to bombard the villages
Adrian Blomfield

By Adrian Blomfield, Middle East Correspondent

Nothing has demonstrated the inadequacy of the international community’s response to the crisis in Syria quite so starkly as the growing number of massacres in the country’s Sunni Arab villages.

The first reports of what appears to be the bloodiest yet filtered through as the UN Security Council met in closed session to make yet another attempt to step up the pressure on Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president.

As many as 200 people were killed in the village of Treimsa, according to opposition figures, eclipsing the bloodletting in nearby Qubeir, where between 55 and 78 died on June 6th, and May’s Houla massacre that claimed 108 lives.

The atrocities share common characteristics that highlight the increasingly sectarian nature of the Syrian conflict.

Houla, Qubeir and Treimsa were home to farming communities populated by members of Syria’s Sunni Arab majority. But in all three cases, the Sunnis were in a minority, surrounded by villages whose inhabitants were drawn from President Assad’s Alawite minority.    more: the  entire article