World Bulletin/News Desk
Some Syrian rebel fighters are committing human rights abuses as they battle the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, although these incidents pale in comparison to the government's campaign of violence, a senior human rights investigator said on Friday.
Donatella Rovera, an investigator with the rights group Amnesty International who recently spent several weeks in Syria, said it was clear that some opposition supporters had resorted to brutal tactics as they target members of the security forces.
"They capture people, we've seen evidence of them having beaten them up ... and in some cases they have killed them," Rovera told Reuters.
"Can it get much worse? It certainly can."
The strength of the armed opposition is growing, she said earlier in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as clashes intensify, individual members are lashing out and committing human rights abuses by beating, detaining and killing Assad's soldiers.
Amnesty International is tracking these abuses in part by the YouTube videos members of the Free Syrian Army post online when they interview detainees.
Rovera stressed that the government was largely to blame for the escalating violence in Syria, saying Assad's forces have targeted whole villages in their attempt to suppress the spreading rebellion.
In the latest reported massacre, the opposition said, government forces attacked the village of Tremseh in the rebellious Hama region with helicopters, artillery and tanks on Thursday.
Opposition sources put the death toll at anywhere from 100 to more than 200, although no independent account of the attack has surfaced.
Syrian state television blamed the deaths on "armed terrorist groups." Damascus has repeatedly said that it faces a foreign-backed insurgency waged by disparate groups including forces aligned with al Qaeda.
Targeting medical teams
Rovera said Amnesty International's reports out of Syria indicated that pro-Assad fighters had in some instances burned up to half of the homes and most clinics in towns to root out rebels, and are increasingly targeting unarmed civilians, including medical teams treating wounded rebels that have been barred from hospitals.
She said three medical aides were found dead in the city of Aleppo.
"The three were arrested and after a week, their bodies were found with clear marks of torture. Their nails had been pulled off, their teeth missing ... and their bodies had been set on fire," Rovera said.
"It was to give a clear message that it is not a good idea to engage in these types of humanitarian tasks."
The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote next week on extending the mandate of U.N. observers in Syria, whose original mission was to monitor a ceasefire that never took hold.
Rovera said it was important that the observers be allowed to stay on to help collect information on rights violations.
"The time for impunity is over," she said.
Violence in Syria has been escalating since protests erupted in March 2011. The unrest has killed more than 17,000 rebels, civilians and government forces, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Authority Rafiq al-Natsheh said earlier that he had referred the file of Dahlan
Al-Arish Criminal Court sentenced an Egyptian national and two Israelis – one of whom is a member of Aman – to 25-year imprisonment over charges of espionage
The meeting was attended by Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, and Minister of State Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, the agency reported.
The Yemeni commander of a vast military district covering half the country's border with Saudi Arabia pledged support on Sunday to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, local officials said.
The official Saudi news agency said special prayers were held for the four soldiers in their home towns.
Egypt court refers 11 to mufti for possible death sentences over Port Said football killings
Khamenei said in comments cited by the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday, the concept of Iranian nuclear weapons was a fabrication.
King Abdullah II would meet the presidents of Djibouti; Tanzania; Somalia, and Kenya in the coastal city of Aqaba on Sunday.
Kuwaiti health authorities on Saturday reported a new swine flu fatality
General John Allen is expected to meet later in the day with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, according to a statement by the ministry.
Earlier Saturday, Djiboutian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddin Bamakhrama told that his country had opened its airspace and territorial waters to Saudi-led operation.
A group of Houthis were meeting inside the house at the time of the strike, according to eyewitnesses.
Army spokesman Mohamed Samir said on Facebook that border patrol troops in Sinai had destroyed 69 entry points to underground tunnels on the border with the Gaza Strip
Putting the Sinai-based group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis comes in light of Egypt's recently-approved Terrorist Entities Law issued by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in February.
Two ships collided in the Suez Canal, delaying traffic for several hours on the international route.
Gunmen have attacked the headquarters of the Houthi in the west of Yemen whilst in the southern city of Abyan there were clashes that erupted between local fighters and soldiers loyal to the Houthi group.