Death Toll in Syria Over 3500 Says UN Agency

Stop Fundamentalism – A spokeswoman for the office of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights updated the death toll for victims of the Syrian government’s crackdown on its people to 3500 people, today.

Ravina Shamdasani, who was speaking to reporters in Geneva at OHCHR, said that, “We are deeply concerned about the situation and by the (Syrian) Government’s failure to take heed of international and regional calls for an end to the bloodshed.”

The Syrian troops have been using tanks and heavy artillery to pound cities and civilians in a bid to control the unrest.  Some cities remain under siege for days now, said Shamdasani.

Assad agreed with a proposal by Arab league to release prisoners and retreat his security forces from civilian areas last week.  But the attacks on cities continue and except about 500 prisoners released on the occasion of a Muslim Holliday, tens of thousands still remain in prisons.

The unrest in Syria started in mid March following popular calls for the ousting of the President Bashar Al-Assad.  Assad family has been ruling the country for over 40 years.

Some gruesome pictures and videos of brutally murdered victims by Assad’s troops, including children, have been published online and on Youtube, by Syrian activists in the country.  The activist report that over 110 Syrians have been killed during the past week just in the city of Homs.  About 40 of the dead are from Baba Amr.

The Syrian Free Army, comprised of defectors from the Syrian army, is engaging government forces in Baba Amr, says an activist.

“We are here to protect the peaceful, unarmed protesters in Baba Amr,” said a Free Army fighter.

Violence in Homs has spiraled out of government control with the presence of anti-regime military defectors resisting government offensive.

Protesters have been calling on the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Syria and specifically the city of Homs.

The Arab league has called for a dialogue between the two sides with no success.

Meanwhile in the U.S. the Secretary of State Clinton defended the policy of non-interference before a crowd gathered at the National Democratic Institute in Washington. “Situations vary dramatically from country to country,” she said.  She described Assad to be “unfit to lead” and called for him to step down.