DHAKA: Syria has denied accusations by special envoy Kofi Annan that state forces used heavy weapons or helicopters in clashes in the village of Tremseh last week, where activists said there was a massacre of over 100 people.
Jihad Makdissi, spokesman for Syria’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Sunday that security forces killed 37 fighters and two civilians in a campaign against the village, from which the government said rebels were launching attacks on other areas.
‘Government forces did not use planes, or helicopters, or tanks or artillery. The heaviest weapon used was an RPG (rocket propelled grenade),’ Makdissi told the reporters in Damascus, says Al Jazeera.
‘Yesterday we received a letter from Mr. Kofi Annan addressed to the Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem. The least that can be said about this letter about what happened in Tremseh is that it did not rely on facts. As diplomatically as possible, we say that this letter was very rushed.’
‘The aim of this news conference is to tell people that what happened was not a massacre... It was a clash between regular forces and armed groups who do not believe in a peaceful solution. This is the reality, politically and militarily.’
Makdissi’s comments came as UN Supervision Mission in Syria entered Tremseh for a second day to assess the casualties and damage in the village.
‘We are in Tremseh now we entered today at 08:30 (05:30 GMT). we are continuing to verify the facts and if we have more we will inform you’, Sausan Ghosheh, UNSMIS Spokeswoman said on Sunday in Damascus.
UNSMIS published a statement on Saturday in which they confirmed that an attack took place in the village.
The statement added that heavy weapons were used as well as helicopters.
BDST: 1616 HRS, JUL 15, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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