|Tens of thousands of Syrians demonstrate at Sabe Bahrat square in downtown Damascus, Syria, on Dec.2, 2011, to denounce recent economic sanctions imposed by the Arab League and Turkey on Syria and to show support for their president. (Xinhua/Bassim)|
DAMASCUS, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted Friday a new resolution condemning human rights violations committed by the Syrian authorities against anti- regime protesters as Damascus is still showing unwavering resolve to hunt down armed groups it blames for the unrest.
The resolution, proposed by the European Union (EU), strongly condemned "the continued widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities," urging Syria to immediately put an end to all violations.
When addressing the UNHRC special session, Syrian envoy Fayssal al-Hamwi criticized it as being subject to the will of some countries that seek to escalate the crisis in Syria.
"It was clear since the beginning of the crisis in Syria that some of the countries sponsoring such futile sessions are ignoring all the work being done by the Syrian government, as well as ignoring the acts of armed terrorist groups," the envoy said.
Meanwhile, the EU broadened its sanctions against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad by adding three more oil firms on the sanction list, which were the state-owned General Petroleum Corporation (GPC), Syria Trading Oil, as well as a joint venture of GPC.
On Thursday, the EU said that its sanctions are related to the energy, financial, banking and trade sectors, and include the listing of additional individuals and entities "that are involved in the violence or directly supporting the regime."
The United States slapped Thursday Damascus with new sanctions targeting two more high-ranking Syrians and another two government- controlled entities.
Muhammad Makhluf, a relative of Assad, and Aus Aslan, a military general, were accused of offering support for the embattled president.
The U.S. and EU sanctions followed those imposed on Syria last week by the Arab League (AL) and Turkey.
As the international community geared up pressures on Syria, the state-run SANA news agency said Saturday that Syrian authorities arrested dozens of wanted gunmen at the western town of Telkalakh near the central city of Homs.
The gunmen are wanted for smuggling weapons into the country, facilitating the entry of gunmen from Lebanon and smuggling drugs into Syria, said SANA, adding that 14 gunmen, who were responsible for a number of murders and kidnappings in Homs, have also been arrested.
On Friday, SANA said military engineering units dismantled at least five explosive devices in different parts of the country, but two other devices went off killing two people and wounding some others.
Meanwhile, an official source at Homs denied Friday media reports that the Syrian forces used tanks in Telkalakh.
Such media allegations are "baseless and part of the misdirection campaign and lies being broadcast in Syria," the source said in a statement.
Syrian authorities were chasing down an "armed terrorist group" in Telkalakh when they came upon three anti-armor rockets and RPG rounds that "terrorist groups" planned to use against border patrols, the source stressed.
However, the Doha-based al-Jazeera TV cited activists as saying that about 10 people were killed in Syria Saturday by security forces.
The UNHRC has recently said that Syrian forces have committed crimes against humanity. Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at a news conference that 4,000 people have died in Syria's unrest this year. She warned that a civil war is likely to take place in the country.
EU imposes new sanctions on Syria
BEIJING,Dec. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- The European Union has piled more pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, by adding three more oil firms to its sanctions list.
The EU’s Official Journal on Friday published the blacklisted names - Syria Trading Oil, state-owned General Petroleum Corporation, known as GPC, and a GPC joint venture firm.
EU foreign ministers had agreed on Thursday to impose further restrictive measures against Syria to pressure it to halt violence against protestors Full Story
UN Human Rights Council adopts resolution on Syria
GENEVA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The UN Human Rights Council on Friday adopted a new resolution proposed by the European Union (EU) condemning human rights violations committed by the Syrian authorities and members of the Syrian military and security forces since unrest broke out in the country in March 2011. Full Story