Many Syrian provinces are the site of intense violence as both sides in the conflict continue to ignore an internationally brokered ceasefire that came into effect on April 12 but never took hold.
UN efforts to end the violence have been largely unsuccessful. The US State Department’s Spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, said she fears that President Basar al-Assad’s regime is organising another massacre: “The United States joins Kofi Annan in expressing deep alarm about reports from inside Syria that the regime may be organising another massacre, this time in the village of al Haffa, in Latikia province, as well as in the towns of Deir el-Zour, in Daraa, in Homs, in Hama and in some suburbs of Damascus.”
A UN report released on Tuesday shows that children are major victims in this conflict. It says Syrian troops have tortured children and used them as human shields on tanks to prevent attacks by opposition forces while rebel forces are reported to have been using children on the front line.