Two western journalists killed in Syria as US weighs arming rebels

Two western journalists - one of them apparently an American - were killed in a bombardment by Assad's forces in a rebellious neighborhood in the city of Homs.

As the violence continues to escalate - 19 more people were killed yesterday -- the US mulls its options in arming the Free Syrian Army.


The two Western journalists were killed when rockets struck and demolished the house they were staying in, activists and witnesses in Homs told Reuters by telephone. They were named as Marie Colvin, an American working for Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, and French photographer Remi Ochlik.


Violence raged unabated. Several YouTube videos taken by local activists in the northern Idlib area, which could not be independently confirmed, showed bodies of young men with bullet wounds and hands tied lying dead in streets.


The men, all civilians, were mostly shot in the head or chest on Tuesday in their homes or in streets in the villages of Idita, Iblin and Balshon in Idlib province near the border with Turkey, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said.


"Military forces chased civilians in these villages, arrested them and killed them without hesitation. They concentrated on male youths and whoever did not manage to escape was to be killed," the organization said in a statement.


"Responsibility for this massacre lies with the general commander of the military and armed forces, Bashar al-Assad," the statement said, adding that only one youth survived the shootings.


One video shows the body of three youths, one visibly shot in the chest, on the floor of a house in Balshon.


"This is martyr Hassan Abdel Qadi al-Saeed, his brother Hussein and (their relative) Bashir Mohammad al-Saeed. They were liquidated by Assad's forces in the February 21 massacre," a voice of a man showing the bodies says, with the sound of women wailing in the background.

Arming unknown fighters with unknown commanders representing a chaotic opposition whose numbers include about 30% Islamists does not sound like a good idea.

Meanwhile, Russiia is agitating for safe transit Red Cross humanitarian convoys. They wish civilians to be well fed before Assad executes them.


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