(ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, JUNE 8 - There is still a ''strong''
smell of burnt flesh, there are human remains and swarms of
flies buzzing around: according to a journalist on the scene,
these are the first impressions to hit the UN observers on their
arrival in at the Syrian village of Mazrat al Qubeir, after two
days of waiting. According to activist reports, they have
entered the scene of a massacre of 78 civilians, including many
children, at the hands of the regime. For its part, the Damascus
government is pointing the finger at the usual ''terrorist
groups''. But further reports of violence are coming thick
and fast, with civilians in flight from a crisis that now
appears to be on an unstoppable spiral towards a possible
''civil war,'' to quote UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
speaking yesterday - or at least towards ''large-scale
devastation,'' in the words of Italy's Foreign Minister Giulio
Terzi, speaking today.
According to activist sources, at least 31 people have been
killed today in repressions of Friday protest demonstrations or
in clashes with the army in Damascus itself. While official news
agency Sana reports the explosion of two car bombs: one in the
capital and one in Aleppo, with death tolls of three people and
five people dead respectively.
These ''disturbing'' scenes were described by the BBC's
reporter on the spot, Paul Danahar, who, entered Al Qubeir in
the province of Hama along with UN observers today. The village
adds yet another name to the list of horrors, coming soon after
that of Hula, where dove 108 civilians were massacred on May 25.
In the meantime, fighting between the regular Syrian army and
rebels of the Free Syrian Army have reached the capital,
opposition sources report. The local coordination committees
speak of clashes in the areas of Kfar Suse and Qadam, where
three rebel soldiers are reported to have fallen.
''The crisis is gaining pace; it is worsening and taking on a
worrying dimension'' Italy's Minister Terzi, said, announcing
that he had sent a message to Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister
with responsibility for the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov. In it
Mr Terzi stated that Moscow can contribute to ensuring that
''the Syrian regime finally resolves to cooperate'' in finding a
solution to the crisis. Meanwhile UN envoy Kofi Annan, ahead of
a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said that
in order for his peace plan to be applied, it will be necessary
to ''step up pressure'' on the warring parties. (ANSAmed).