July 14 Statement From UNSMIS Following Preliminary Fact-Finding Mission to Treimseh

Note to correspondents by the Spokesperson for the UN Supervision Mission in   Syria

UN Observers entered el-Treimseh Saturday to try to ascertain the facts on the ground and verify reports of a military operation on the village.  On the basis of this preliminary mission, UNSMIS can confirm that an attack, using a variety of weapons, took place in Treimseh on July 12.

The attack on Treimseh appeared targeted at specific groups and houses, mainly of army defectors and activists.   There were pools of blood and blood spatters in rooms of several homes together with bullet cases.

The UN Team also observed a burned school and damaged houses with signs of internal burning in five of them.

A wide range of weapons were used, including artillery, mortars and small arms.

The number of casualties is still unclear.  The UN Team plans to go back into Treimseh tomorrow to continue their fact finding mission.

The Head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, announced on Friday, in a press conference, that the UN Mission stands ready to send its Observers to Treimseh, despite the Mission’s suspension of activities, if and when there is a ceasefire.

UNSMIS received information that a ceasefire was in place on Friday and immediately conducted a reconnaissance patrol in the area to assess access to the village and establish contacts with local Parties.

An 11 vehicle integrated patrol, comprised of specialized military and civilian observers, arrived in Treimseh, 25km north-west of the city of Hama, on Saturday after confirming that a ceasefire was in place.

UNSMIS is deeply concerned about the escalating level of violence in Syria and calls on the Government to cease the use of heavy weapons on population centres and on the Parties to put down their weapons and choose the path of non-violence for the welfare of the Syrian people who have suffered enough.