MESOP WEST KURDISTAN SYRIA : THE DAILY BEAST – Up to 2000 killed – But no worldwide reaction

5-8-2014 – MESOP – More than 130 civilians were killed over the weekend by Syrian regime forces across the country, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog group. The reports will be read alongside figures estimating that more than 1,800 people have been killed in Syria in the last ten days, just weeks after Bashar al-Assad was sworn in to a third seven-year term. Last week, the House Foreign Affairs Committee heard testimony from a Syrian defector who told lawmakers that more than 150,000 civilians are at risk of torture and death in Syrian jails. The defector, who appeared on Capitol Hill in disguise for security reasons, presented a collection of photographs taken in Syria, which, per the Daily Beast, catalogued “the torture, starvation, and death of over 11,000 civilians.”

The Wall Street Journal characterized the lawmakers attending the hearing as “stunned” at the images, part of a larger collection of approximately 50,000 photographs smuggled out of the country by the defector, a former military photographer. International war crimes prosecutor David Crane called the photos “smoking gun evidence” of atrocities committed by the Assad regime, which Rep. Eliot Engel, the committee’s ranking Democrat, called “war crimes, plain and simple.” Engel criticized the Obama administration for not acting sooner “to stem the growth of ISIS and weaken the regime of Bashar Assad.” ISIS has in recent weeks made gains across Syria, and through the weekend battled Lebanese armed forces in the border town of Arsal, killing more than a dozen Lebanese troops and leaving scores injured.