- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
Red Cross blocked by Syria from ex-rebel enclave
Syria has a fragile mix of ethnic groups including Sunnis, Shiites, Christians and the minority Alawite sect, to which Assad and the ruling elite belong. Homs, the country’s third-largest city, has emerged as a key battleground and has seen an alarming rise in sectarian tensions and reprisal killings.
The European Union committed itself to document war crimes in Syria to set the stage for a “day of reckoning” for the country’s leadership, in the way that former Yugoslav leaders were tried for war crimes in the 1990s by a special U.N. tribunal.
EU leaders in Brussels condemned Assad’s regime for its nearly yearlong crackdown on an uprising that began with mostly peaceful protests but has veered toward civil war, with Syrian forces firing heavy artillery against civilians. The U.N. has estimated that more than 7,500 people have been killed, while activists put the death toll at over 8,000.
“We will make sure — as we did in Serbia — that there is a day of reckoning for those who are responsible,” said Cameron, who accused the Assad regime of “butchering its own people.”
“It is very important that we set out the war crimes that effectively are being committed, that we write them down, we take the photographic evidence, we bring it together and … make sure that the day of reckoning will come,” he told reporters.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said his country is closing its embassy in Syria, a day after two French journalists — one of them wounded — escaped to Lebanon after being trapped for days in Baba Amr for nine days. Britain and the United States have already closed their embassies.
Russia, a staunch ally of Syria, blasted the West for backing the opposition, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calling for both the rebels and the government forces to pull out of besieged cities to end the bloodshed.
“Do they want Assad to pull out his forces so the opposition moves right in?” Putin said at a meeting with Western newspaper editors in remarks on state TV. “Is it a balanced approach?”
Sarkozy greeted Edith Bouvier, a journalist for Le Figaro, and William Daniels, a photographer, after they flew to a military airport in Villacoublay, France, from Beirut.
Bouvier was taken off the plane on a stretcher. She sustained several fractures to a leg during a rocket attack on Feb. 22 that killed two Western journalists — American-born reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik — and wounded a British photographer, Paul Conroy.
Conroy and Spanish reporter Javier Espinosa also were smuggled out of Syria.
Red Cross spokesman Bijan Farnoudi told The Associated Press that the organization has the bodies of Colvin and Ochlik and was taking them to Damascus. Activist videos posted online Thursday purported to show the burials of Colvin and Ochlik in Baba Amr this week. The Syrian government news agency said the bodies were exhumed after Baba Amr fell so they could be repatriated. But in an obviously erroneous report, it said Espinosa’s body was among them, even though he appeared on international TV shows Friday, detailing his escape.
Activists said protesters took to the streets in towns elsewhere across Syria Friday, with security forces unleashing tear gas and gunfire, and making mass arrests.
The Observatory said 10 people were killed in the town of Rastan near Homs when a mortar shell landed near marchers. The LCC said 16 were killed in the same event, among 65 reported dead nationwide.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- EDITORIAL: Al Gore, soothsayer
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow