Update, 2:00 EDT 5-8-2014:
In Syria, Islamist rebels are hiding in residential areas using civilians as human shields, a violation of the Geneva Conventions. As a result, the tyrannical Assad regime is shelling rebel-held areas relentlessly. In that situation military realists often say we should “root for casualties,” but of course the bulk of those casualties are among civilians.
The explosion shown below took place in Aleppo, a disputed city in northern Syria. Much more intense fighting is taking place in Homs.
David Blair has a few lines from Paul Conroy’s interview with Sky News.
The world will look back in shame at the “indiscriminate massacre” that is being carried out in Syria, Paul Conroy, the Sunday Times photographer who nearly died in Homs alongside his colleague Marie Colvin, has said in a stark warning from his London hospital bed.
Comparing the killing in Homs to the Srebrenica massacre and the Rwandan genocide, he said in an emotional interview that the time for talking was past.
“As I’m talking to you now, people are dying,” he said in a televised interview. “There was no restraint with the cameras there. God knows what’s happening now the cameras are gone.”
He described the killing as “sustained barrage”, adding it was “absolutely indiscriminate”. “The massacre and the killing are at full tilt,” he said. “I don’t know how people can stand by and watch this.”
“I’ve worked in many war zones and I’ve never seen shelling like this,” he continued, saying the bombardment began “religiously” every day at 6am.
“They are systematic in moving through neighbourhoods with munitions that are used for battlefields… it’s unfathomable, the sustained barrage… men, women and children, cowering in houses, are just beyond shellshock.”
A “huge explosion” Thursday in Aleppo, Syria leveled a hotel that government troops used as a military base, along with several other buildings in a government-held area, state television and activists reported. Rebels said some 50 troops were killed in the blast.
The attack was the second carried out by the Islamic Front against the Carlton. The first, allegedly carried out also through explosives-packed tunnels, caused a partial collapse of the building in February. The Front, an alliance of several Islamic groups fighting to topple Assad, appears to favor this technique and has used it to carry out deadly attacks against government forces in Aleppo and Idlib provinces.