Syria Denies Heavy Weapons in Latest Violence

Posted July 15th, 2012 at 7:15 am (UTC-5)
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Syria is denying government forces used heavy weapons and aircraft during a military operation that has brought widespread international condemnation.

A Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman says the violence in Tremseh was an operation targeting armed fighters. He said 39 people were killed there Thursday, all but two of them armed.

In Tremseh, U.N. spokeswoman Sausan Ghosheh said the attacks appeared to target the homes of activists and army defectors. She said heavy weapons had apparently been used, a violation of Syria's obligations under Security Council resolutions.

U.N observers said more than 150 people were killed Thursday.

In a telephone call Saturday to Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiech, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged China to use its influence to help stop the violence in Syria.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights tells VOA at least 31 people were killed in anti-government-related violence Saturday across Syria. Activists also say Syrian forces pounded the southern town of Khirbet Ghazaleh.