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.

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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. "get the hell out of there"

    LMAO. Abandon all US owned oillfields that cost hundreds of billions of YOUR tax dollars to build, purchase, uprade, maintain, etc. Yes, tour fmr. presidents Bush Dynasty owns vast mineral rights throughout the middle east with their saud partners the Bin Laden family dynasty.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Solution

    Stop sensing US troops to do US corporate work. Make your oil corporations hire their own private armies to fight over control of the middle easts vast oil fortunes and pipeline infrastructures.
    Meanwhile, prosecute any politician who has used troops to protect his personal fortunes.
    We've tried begging for troops to come home a million times. It simply does not work. Expose the men using US troops for their own personal gain, and end corporate fascism in America. North, Central, and South.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Solution

    Of course, if a law was passed making it illegal for a president of the US to mobilize troops to protect his own personal fortunes, the law would have to be retroactive to get the likes of the Bush and Cheney, even Eisenhower would have to be dug-up and hung by a rope in absentia for sending troops to protect his own banana plantations in S. America.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. pee

    I think al-Assad and his regime has ruled this Syrian people for long time,and now, this syrian people are fed- up.Enough is Enough.Rulling strategy, is not in one Man`s head.So in my opinion,al-Assad should step down,for peace to prevail in Syria.

    June 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Julia

    Come on CNN, it's about time you get the surname right for the U.N. Secretary-General. His surname is "Ban" not "Moon." Paragraphs 2 and 4 should be edited. The guy's been in office for over 5 years now. Get his name right!

    June 8, 2012 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. the jackel

    UN peace keepers being shot by Syrians governement troops, who's arms are supplied by Russia and China.......

    June 8, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Aaron Chaney

    Romney vs Frankenstein (Obama)

    Put simply, better the devil you don't know. Vote Romney

    June 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
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