World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian troops killed at least 35 people on Wednesday, mostly unarmed civilians, when they shelled and overran a suburb of the capital Damascus, residents and activist organisations said.
"The tanks and troops left around 4 p.m. When the streets were clear we found the bodies of at least 35 men," a resident, who gave his name as Fares, said by phone from Jdeidet Artouz, southwest of Damascus.
"Almost all of them were executed with bullets to their face, head and neck in homes, gardens and basements," he added, speaking of the troop action to crush opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.
Fares, who did not give his last name for fear of retribution by Assad's forces, said soldiers from the Fourth Division, a praetorian guard unit under the command of Assad's brother Maher, came into his house.
"They examined my ID and let me go. They seem to have been looking for activists or young men with a certain profile to execute," he said.
He said the bodies were collected at the Omar bin al-Khattab mosque and buried in a mass grave dug by a bulldozer volunteered by the owner of nearby farmland.
"There are more bodies in al-Sahl area but we could not reach them because there is an army roadblock there," he said.
Another resident of the suburb said the total number of dead was at least 50.
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said 26 of 35 bodies his organisation tallied in Jdeidet Artouz have been identified and the victims were overwhelmingly civilians.
"It's regrettable that the citizens of the countries on the list have never participated in any act of terrorism against the US and yet they are being punished for acts of terrorism by citizens of other countries which are not on the list," said Zarif.
"We consider such threats against the Syrian leadership to be unacceptable," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
The White House said the preparations were similar to those undertaken by the Assad regime ahead of an apparent chemical attack on a rebel-held town in April.
Since suffering stroke in 2014, Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has largely avoided state functions and public activities
"The disagreement with Qatar is a political and security dispute and has never been military," Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said on Twitter.
Netanyahu's cabinet voted Sunday to back out of the hard-won deal, provoking a flood of criticism and warnings it could damage Israel's relationship with the United States' influential Jewish community.
After Arab states arrayed against Qatar issue 13-point list of demands, resolution of crisis looks more distant than ever
Israel says it hits Syrian targets after projectiles fired from Syria landed on its territories
Women and men currently must pray separately at Jerusalem's Western Wall under strict interpretation of Jewish law.
Presidency pardons more than 1,000 prisoners for Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday
Media reports it advised Saudi citizens to avoid travelling to Turkey ‘baseless’, embassy says
Israeli military terms its attack in Syria 'a retaliatory' move to allegedly stop rocket attacks from Syria
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratifies transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi sovereignty
Opposition party leader says US efforts over Israeli-Palestinian peace processes will fail
More than 200,000 suspected cholera cases have been reported in Yemen