The town of Tremseh, Syria, in Hama province was surrounded at 6:00 AM. All avenues of exit were blocked, electricity and phone service was cut. A Helicopter gunship appeared overhead The people knew they were in trouble. Fearing the worst, some gathered in the center of the town to figure out what was happening. Others began an attempt to escape. Then the tanks and artillery opened fire, targeting the civilian houses and the people themselves. The helicopter gunship opened fire raining death from above. The shelling went on for hours. Bodies were all over the streets, in the fields, everywhere that could be a place to hide was flattened. Minutes after the barrage stopped, pro government militia(Shabiha) from neighboring villages entered and killed any survivors. When it was all over there were reports of 220 dead. The government news agency SANA claimed that "only" 50 had been killed by "armed terrorists". Kofi Annan said that the UN observers would like to go investigate but the "situation was just to dangerous." Video of the carnage is making its way to the Internet and western news agencies as the day goes on. In one video a mosque is used as a makeshift morgue. In another a mass grave is shown being prepared and lined "with dozens of bodies". This mirrors exactly what happened in Houla.
I checked my notes and reports last night. In January the UN stopped counting the dead. The death count was at 5,000. This means in the seven month period that followed more thean 12,000 have been killed. The international community is calling on the Annan plan to be scrapped, citing today'smassacre and the fact that more have died since his six point plan was to go into effect on April 12TH than before it. The opposition is also calling on Annan to be replaced because he has proved in effective in stopping Assad.
In more disturbing news, CNN reports that military sources have said that it appears "chemical weapons are on the move" in Syria. This is of grave concern as it is feared that Assad may be preparing to begin to use them against the populace. It is unclear whether they are being consolidated to more secure sites, or as mentioned if the intent is more sinister in nature. If Assad was to use chemical weapons this will change the entire situation. While Syria is not a signer to the Chemical Weapons Convention which went into effect in 1997, its use of these weapons will be a gross violation of international law. There are 50 known chemical weapons sites in Syria. They contain such chemicals as mustard gas, a blistering agent. As well as Sarin gas, and VX nerve agents.
All total up to 300 have been killed today in Syria.