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Syria Moves on Hama with Tanks, at Least 24 Killed

Syrian government forces moved against residents of Hama early Sunday morning using tanks and leaving at least 24 dead and scores wounded according to a local doctor who spoke by telephone to the Reuters news agency. He also reported a shortage of blood for transfusions and the presence of unattended bodies in the streets. As is the normal Syrian army procedure, water and electricity were cut-off to Hama before the siege began and tanks started to move in from four directions. Reuters reported tank shells falling at a rate of four per minute during the height of the attack. Casualty figures are incomplete and difficult to ascertain because foreign media has been banned from Syria. Hama is the city where President Al-Asad’s father killed tens of thousands in order to put down a rebellion in 1982. On Saturday, Syrian troops fired on families fleeing from Syria into Lebanon according to the Beirut-based Daily Star. According to the report, the gunfire continued for about 20 minutes.