UNSMIS July 15 Statement Following Second Visit to Treimseh

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

UN Observers returned to the village of Treimseh, today, to gather more information on the military operation of July 12.  

The integrated patrol, comprised of specialized civilian and military experts, observed over 50 houses that were burned and/or destroyed.  Pools of blood and brain matter were observed in a number of homes.

The consistent account relayed by 27 local villagers, interviewed by the UN Team, indicates that attack commenced at 5am Thursday morning on July 12.  It began with the shelling of the village followed by ground operations.  According to those interviewed, the army was conducting house to house searches asking for men and their ID cards.  They alleged that after checking their identification, numerous were killed.  Other men were taken out of the village.

On the basis of some of the destruction observed in the town and the witness accounts, the attack appears targeted at army defectors and activists.  

UN Observers also confirmed the use of direct and indirect weapons, including artillery, mortars and small arms.  A Free Syrian Army leader, Saleh al-Subaai, was confirmed shot dead.  A doctor and his children were killed when a mortar shell hit their home.      

The number of casualties is still unclear. The UN Supervision Mission in Syria is trying to seek further verification.

The UN Supervision Mission in Syria calls on the Government to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centres and take all necessary measures to reduce civilian casualties.  UNSMIS urges the Parties to end the violence and pursue a peaceful Syrian-led transition that truly meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.