A Syrian human rights group says at least 453 people have been killed in the crackdown on anti-government protests, as the army tightens its grip on the centre of a month-long uprising. Witnesses reported the army was reinforcing its troops in the southern city of Deraa, where the demonstrations began in mid-March, with extra tanks and troops.
Mustafa Osso, a human rights activist in the capital Damascus, cited residents of Deraa as saying the extra troops arrived early on Wednesday from military bases in the area.
The brutal crackdown by Syrian President Bashar Assad may finally be getting the attention of world leaders -- but apparently not enough to stop Syria from becoming the newest member of the U.N. Human Rights Council.
And despite calling for an independent investigation into the crackdown, which has left hundreds dead, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apparently won’t do much about blocking Syria’s path to the human rights group.
"That's not really for the secretary general to suggest to a member state," said Martin Nesirky, a spokesman for the secretary-general, when asked if the U.N. chief would ask Syria to drop out of the running for the post.