In Syria: The Ramadan Massacre

An image grab from a video uploaded on YouTube shows a Syrian army tank driving past burning tires in the city of Hama on July 31, 2011. (AFP/YouTube)

On Sunday, on the eve of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered a massacre.

According to AFP, nearly 140 people were killed, including at least 100 in the flashpoint protest city of Hama where tanks descended on demonstrators in an effort to crush dissent against the Assad regime.

US President Barack Obama said he was “appalled” by the crackdown, as he vowed to step up pressure to isolate the Syrian government.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is expected to meet on Monday for emergency consultations amid the deadly offensive.
Britain, France, Germany, Portugal and the US have been pressing for weeks for some kind of condemnation of the violence, AFP reports.

But Russia, China, South Africa, India and Brazil — which are angry at the NATO bombing campaign in Libya — have refused to support the move.

Russia and China have threatened to veto any formal resolution against Assad.

European diplomats said that the latest violence could sway one of the doubters to back a Security Council move.

Amid the violence on Sunday, there were also reports that around 40 soldiers defected from the army and were shot at by security forces.

Tweeps are encouraged to help keep #RamadanMassacre trending on Twitter.

As always, follow NOW Syria for the latest developments on the uprising against Assad.

An image grab from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 31, 2011 shows what anti-regime protesters claim to be defected soldiers standing on tanks amid demonstrators in the city of Hama. (AFP/YouTube)

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