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Syria Crisis Digest: March 23-30

Posted: 03/30/2012 4:43 pm Updated: 03/30/2012 4:43 pm

Each week, HuffPost World will provide the top stories out of Syria and a recap of events in the country's year-long uprising, as President Bashar Assad’s regime continues its bloody crackdown.

March 22 - 30 In Review

Media Not To Miss

Spiegel Online -- 'An Executioner for Syria's Rebels Tells His Story'

Syrian rebels calling themselves the "burial brigade" have taken it upon themselves to kill the men allied with President Assad's regime. One rebel unapologetically tells of the group's work.

"Hussein didn't care if the man had been beaten into a confession, or that he was terrified of death and had begun to stammer prayers. It was his tough luck that the rebels had caught him."


BBC -- 'Syria Authorities Target Children, Says UN Rights Chief'

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said in an interview that she believes Syrian forces have intentionally killed and tortured children.

They've gone for the children - for whatever purposes - in large numbers. Hundreds detained and tortured...it's just horrendous...children shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions, denied medical treatment for their injuries, either held as hostages or as sources of information.


GlobalPost -- 'Syria: Inside The Latest Assault On Saraqeb'

GlobalPost correspondent James Foley reported from Saraqeb, northern Syria, that the town had been in rebel control but is now in the hands of the Syrian army.

As Syrian forces moved to secure Saraqeb on Monday, rebel fighters packed their blankets, water pipes, guns and odd laptops into trucks. Along with many families, including women and children, they sped off into the night. Red tracers flew overhead. Once safely outside, they slept in farms and small villages, plotting their return.


AFP -- 'Syria's Assad Tours Flashpoint Homs District'

Syrian President Bashar Assad toured the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs on Tuesday.

"Baba Amr will be much better than before," Assad told dozens of residents as he surveyed the destruction wrought on the neighbourhood in a month-long assault by regime forces.

The brief visit, which was aired on state television, marked a rare public appearance by the embattled head of state who is in the throes of an unprecedented revolt against his regime.


New York Times -- 'Neighbors Said To Be At Violent Odds In Syrian Crackdown'

Syrian refugees described an extremely sectarian crackdown in Syria, with some civilians shooting at their former neighbors.

The refugees’ firsthand accounts painted a picture of a section of western Syria that is more thoroughly under siege — and perhaps more widely in revolt — than has previously been depicted.

“The army wants to displace people to get them away from the protests,” said Abu Munzer, 59, a Syrian Army veteran from the village of Mazaria, huddling by a wood stove in a cinder-block farmhouse with about 20 other refugees; like most people interviewed, he was afraid to give his full name. “If they die or they leave, there will be no one there to protest.”

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Filed by Clare Richardson  |