More Massacres Uncovered in Syria
Opposition activists say they have uncovered a new mass grave at a garbage dump outside Damascus filled with the burned remains of at least 60 people, many of whom had their hands tied behind their backs. Fighting continues to rage in the capital and in Aleppo, where activists reported that government forces shelled numerous rebel positions, including near the airport.
Meanwhile, Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi has agreed to take on the role of U.N. international mediator for Syria, but he has insisted that his mandate be different than that of predecessor Kofi Annan, and demanded “strong support” from the U.N. security council. This comes as U.N. observers say their mission in Syria is nearly over, citing the failure of international powers to agree on measures to alleviate the conflict. Earlier in the week, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation voted to suspend Syria, a symbolic move that Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said will only “erase” the conflict, rather than resolve it.
A spate of abductions is afflicting both Lebanon and Syria, as rival sects kidnap family members from opposing sides. with at least four Lebanese hostages held in Syria being killed recently during a government air strike. Families of kidnapped Lebanese in Syria staged a protest on the road to the Beirut airport, blocking access by burning tires and setting up a “checkpoint.”
Magnus Norell and David Pollock write for the Times of Israel that the EU must intervene further in Syria if it wants to encourage real democracy there, including military aid for the rebels as a whole as opposed to dealing only with the Syrian National Council.