Violence in a small village in Syria has left around 100 people dead, including a least 25 children, and has put serious doubts on the supposed effectiveness of the U.N. monitors.
The Syrian army reportedly shelled Houla, a small village in Homs, and raked it with machine gun fire all of Friday. Members of the Free Syrian Army left the town to assault government checkpoints that Friday's barrage originated from, and that's when government forces and volunteer pro-government thugs took advantage of their absence, entered the village and started executing anyone they met.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and the Syrian National Council have all put the number of deaths in the attacks between 90 and 110 people, many of them women and children. It's the being reported as the highest number of casualties in a single event since the U.N. brokered cease-fire began.
This video from Al Jazeera has heavily blurred footage of the children reportedly killed in Houla. A warning: even with the blurring, this video can be pretty graphic and is definitely not for the faint of heart:
According to the Guardian, a spokesmen for the U.N.'s Syrian envoy said monitors were on their way to Houla "as we speak" to check out what happened, but the New York Times is reporting they weren't even able to enter the city because gunfire was still too intense.
Even the Syrian people are turning on the U.N.'s monitoring team. AFP reports that Syrians took to the streets to protest the violence in Houla, and one had a sign that read, "Annan is singlehandedly responsible for the Houla massacre," blaming Kofi Annan, the man behind the U.N.'s cease-fire plan, for the massacre.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.