Friday, September 09, 2011

Syria kills defector's brother, child

In June, Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Harmoush defected from the Syrian army to join the opposition movement:


Today it was announced that his brother and child were killed by Syrian forces.
Syrian security forces killed two relatives of a defecting military officer, as opposition groups urged Russia to abandon its backing for President Bashar al- Assad and help end his government’s violent crackdown.

A child and brother of Colonel Hussein Harmoush, the most senior army commander to switch sides, were killed today in the northern province of Idlib, Mahmoud Merhi, head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, said in a phone interview from Damascus. At least 11 people were wounded in the suburbs of the capital, where gunfire was heard by residents, he said. Seven protesters died yesterday in Idlib and the central region of Homs, Merhi said.

More than 3,100 civilians have been killed in Syria since protests began in March, according to Merhi and Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria. About 30,000 people have been detained and 13,000 of them are still being held, the activists estimate.

Security forces “forcibly” removed 18 wounded people from al-Barr hospital in Homs on Sept. 7, including five from the operating room, Human Rights Watch said late yesterday, citing witnesses, including doctors. The forces also prevented medical personnel from reaching the wounded in a number of the city’s neighborhoods, the New York-based organization said.