June 7th, 2012
10:45 AM ET

U.N. monitors shot at in Syria, secretary-general says

United Nations monitors who were trying to access the scene of "new massacres" in Syria's Hama province were shot at with small arms, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday morning.

Ban said he had just learned the information about the gunfire "a few minutes ago." He also called the reports of Wednesday's alleged Hama massacres "shocking and sickening."

Information about who shot at the monitors and when the shooting happened wasn't immediately available.

During his address to the U.N. General assembly, Ban also said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government has lost "all legitimacy" amid reports of mounting violence.

Should the U.S. intervene in Syria? | Poll: Don't intervene

Opposition activists accused forces loyal to al-Assad of killing 78 people in a tiny village in Hama province Wednesday.

Regime forces shelled Qubeir village before militias on foot used knives, guns and AK-47 rifles to kill residents, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

Village targeted | 'Knives, guns'  'Knives, guns'

About 40 victims of the attack in Qubeir were buried in a mass grave Thursday, according to a youth activist whom CNN is not naming for safety reasons. Shabiha - or pro-government gangs - took other bodies to neighboring villages, the activist said. More than half of those killed were women and children, according to a local activist who evacuated bodies.

The Syrian government blamed a terrorist group for the massacre, saying it was timed to coincide with the U.N. meetings to make the regime look bad.

Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria, said observers heading to the village to verify reports of the killings had been blocked by soldiers and civilians. Residents are telling observers that they are at risk if they enter the village.

The observers have been monitoring adherence to Annan's six-point peace plan, which includes a cease-fire declared in April. But the effort has failed to halt the bloodshed in the nation.

Russia, China resist call for force | Nations grapple for peace solution | Timeline

International envoy Kofi Annan told the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday that his six-point peace plan for Syria is "not being implemented." He warned that more repression, abuse and even "all-out civil war" could occur if things don't change in Syria.

Two weeks ago, a massacre in Houla left more than 100 people dead, including women and children. Opposition activists blamed the deaths on government forces and allied militia, a claim that al-Assad denied.

CNN cannot independently confirm reports from within Syria because the government strictly limits access by foreign journalists.

soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. buddget

    I don't know what the answer is, but I do know it sucks to be in Syria right now.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. derptastic

    When we do help people will say its for our own gain.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Icurheinie

    "Just let them kill each other" – comments like this are uneducated, uncalled for and uncivilized. People are dying nightmare deaths in unspeakable fashion, and if we don't do something about it we're just as guilty as Assad.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      Sadly, there is no longer a right choice. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. I think the UN needs to employ a crack squad of elite snipers and just start taking out the heads of states of corrupt regimes. It's sad that current UN laws require that we first declare war, pulverize the country's infrastructure, kill thousands of their citizens, capture their leader, and then spend millions more dollars trying these evil thugs. Red tape is too costly.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • momo0828

      I beg to differ. There is nothing stopping you from going to Syria and assisting the rebels and the UN monitors with their fight. You can afford to sit behind a computer screen and have an opinion about people you know nothing of with the comfort of sending someone else's son and/or daughter to help people who are determined to kill each other. Uneducated, uncalled for uncivilized? Buy yourself a one ticket to Syria and gain a true perspective of that region and educate yourself. Because Lord knows I have lost my own family member to a conflict similar in scope that was pointless.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      @Icurheinie: It is not our place to force Assad to run his country to our liking.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. glyder

    couldn't have picked a better target.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. James PDX

    For a country which Assad claims is full or terrorists posing as government military who have allegedly gone on dozens of killing sprees, it's amazing that no one, including Assad, has managed to catch any of them.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      @James PDX: Catch? No, Syria is going to stop them with lethal force.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fofo

    May be, I'm just saying just may be Assad is telling the truth. They, the oppositions may be are doing it to get support from the international community. The Rex Movie theater, in Iran, comes to my mind when I see these killing. The Shah kept on saying it wasn't him, his secret police said the same but no one believed them. People poured in the street. Ousted the Shah. Khomeini came. Thousands of people got executed. Millions of educated ones fled the country. Several years later it was proven that it was done by the religious thugs. And the rest is history.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      @fofo: I agree. This is clearly not a popular uprising of the people. It's small bands of opportunistic terrorists.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. HZ

    If you want to claim something, at least please show SOME proof, i'm not even asking court valid proof, just some kind of proof from anywhere, not hearsay.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Howard's Daddy

    With Americans like dano, who can blame them.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ljack

    I think it's time for the UN to give Syria a serious thrashing, with US participation.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      @ljack: So, your solution is violence. I suggest peace instead.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DK-Prof

    Wow – imagine that! If you go to a civil war-like chaotic environment where lots of different groups are shooting (and one side doesn't want you), someone might take a shot at you?? Stop the presses.

    This makes me wonder if the U.N. will announce their discovery next week, that if you jump into the ocean, you might get wet!

    June 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      "This makes me wonder if the U.N. will announce their discovery next week, that if you jump into the ocean, you might get wet!"

      GOP scientists have already refuted this ill thought out conclusion.

      June 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ima Lert

    Shuami, you are obviously defending Bashar al-Assad's heinous actions? His brutal actions are hated around the world. Why would you condone them?

    The world knows the truth about what is happening and the truth is al-Assad is killing the people of Syria who oppose his ruthless dictatorship. He's no different than any other dictator/terrorist. They do whatever they want and care nothing about the good people. However, he will eventually pay the ultimate price the same as so many others like him have done. Iran, Russia and China cannot save him. Those countries are only prolonging his killings of innocent people. He will be gone soon.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. paul

    I liked the way we handled it in Libya, let the UN handle it, we can give them some air support possibly. Staying out of this and letting Russia and China be the bad guys seems like the politically wise move.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. wow...

    the guy's last name isn't "Moon"...

    June 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    Since China and Russia are the ls sending arms there, let them solve the problems they created! And Israel too, if they are so inclined. I dont like hearing about all these ppl being needlessly slaught-ered no more than the next guy. But we must stay out!

    June 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MBSeattle

    I am curious does Chinia and Russia also have obsevers on the ground as part of the UN mission? I would hope they see, feel and experince this conflict from the same level the people of Syria.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
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