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Lt. Col. Qassim Saad al-Din, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, which is made up of Syrian army deserters, said some residents had fled following the massacre, but those trapped in Houla were living in siegelike conditions.

The Assad regime is using helicopters against civilians and knives to kill children as young as 3 years old, said Col. al-Din.

“The United Nations and the international community have not stepped up to their job to protect civilians,” he added.

Susan Crabtree contributed to this report.