Sunday, February 18, 2018

Syrian pro-regime gunmen kill more than 100

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Gunmen loyal to President Bashar Assad swept through a mainly Sunni farming village in central Syria this week, torching homes and killing more than 100 people, including women and children, opposition activists said Thursday.

The reported slayings fueled accusations that pro-government militiamen are trying to drive majority Sunnis out of areas near main routes to the coast to ensure control of an Alawite enclave as the country's civil war increasingly takes on sectarian overtones.

Activists said the attackers were from nearby areas dominated by Shiite Muslims and allied Alawites. Assad and most of his top officials belong to the minority Alawite sect, a Shiite offshoot.

The events in Haswiyeh, an impoverished farming area on the edge of Homs, unfolded Tuesday and Wednesday, but came to light only Thursday as the scale of the killings became apparent.

An amateur video posted online showed veiled women sitting on the floor surrounded by children as they described a horrific scene of gunmen killing families and burning bodies.

"We did not fight and we had no gunmen," a woman said. "We are workers trying to make a living."

A Syrian official in Damascus denied the killings. But the pro-government newspaper Al-Watan reported Thursday that Syrian troops advanced in the countryside of Homs "cleansing the villages of Haswiyeh and Dweir as well as their fields" from gunmen.

U.S. addresses chemical arsenal: The Obama administration has quietly arranged for thousands of chemical protective suits to be sent to Jordan and Turkey and is pressing military forces there to take main responsibility for safeguarding Syrian chemical weapons sites if the country's lethal nerve agents suddenly become vulnerable, the Center for Public Integrity reported Thursday.

Washington is talking with Iraq and Russia, as well as Jordan and Turkey, about the potential removal of the arsenal and its destruction elsewhere should the regime fall.

Information from McClatchy Tribune was used in this report.

Comments

AP Top News at 9:59 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 9:59 p.m. EST
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Kentucky 2030? Could Korea export its rural Olympic gamble?

Kentucky 2030? Could Korea export its rural Olympic gamble?

The Pyeongchang Winter Games are spread across South Korea's Gangwon Province, a rural former coal mining region that few had heard of until its hard-fought bid to be an Olympic host _ a massively expensive proposition with dubious payoff
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Kentucky 2030? Could Korea export its rural Olympic gamble?

Kentucky 2030? Could Korea export its rural Olympic gamble?

The Pyeongchang Winter Games are spread across South Korea's Gangwon Province, a rural former coal mining region that few had heard of until its hard-fought bid to be an Olympic host _ a massively expensive proposition with dubious payoff
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Kentucky 2030? Could Korea export its rural Olympic gamble?

Kentucky 2030? Could Korea export its rural Olympic gamble?

The Pyeongchang Winter Games are spread across South Korea's Gangwon Province, a rural former coal mining region that few had heard of until its hard-fought bid to be an Olympic host _ a massively expensive proposition with dubious payoff
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Jeb Bush adds support for ‘red flag’ gun law

Jeb Bush adds support for ‘red flag’ gun law

Jeb Bush on Sunday night lent support to “gun-violence restraining orders” and said 18 year olds should not be able to purchase semi-automatic weapons.Legislation for GVROs, often described as "red flag" laws, has picked up support of som...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Winter Olympics: U.S. freestyle skier Nick Goepper conquers his demons and ends up a medalist again

Winter Olympics: U.S. freestyle skier Nick Goepper conquers his demons and ends up a medalist again

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Nick Goepper met Jeret "Speedy" Peterson only once.The larger-than-life Olympic aerial skier left a powerful impression on Goepper, an Indiana kid on his way to his own whirling fame.So when it got bad four years ago, when ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Largely silent about Florida school shooting victims

Largely silent about Florida school shooting victims

President Donald Trump has kept largely silent about the Florida school shooting victims and the escalating gun control debate
Updated: 23 minutes ago
AP FACT CHECK: Trump roars on Twitter about Russia probe

AP FACT CHECK: Trump roars on Twitter about Russia probe

AP FACT CHECK: Trump lashes out after Russia indictment, miscasting his record of skepticism about Moscow meddling
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Austin Dillon takes No. 3 back to victory lane at Daytona

Austin Dillon takes No. 3 back to victory lane at Daytona

Austin Dillon put the No. 3 back in victory lane in the Daytona 500
Updated: 1 hour ago
Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 after Aric Almirola wrecks late

DAYTONA BEACH – As Austin Dillon celebrated his Daytona 500 win Sunday, he couldn't help but remember the time he was standing there, in Victory Lane, 20 years ago this week.He was 7 then, and his index finger jutted into the air triumphantly t...
Updated: 1 hour ago