Arab League chief demands probe into Syria `crime

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Tuesday called for an international probe into "crimes" against civilians in Syria.

Cairo: Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi
on Tuesday called for an international probe into "crimes"
committed against civilians in Syria, particularly in the
flashpoint provinces of Homs and Idlib.

"Media reports about the horrible pictures concerning
crimes committed against innocent civilians in Homs and Idlib
and other parts of Syria can be described as crimes against
humanity," Arabi said in a statement.

"There must be an international, independent probe to
reveal the truth about what is happening and identify those
responsible for these crimes and refer them to justice," he

Arabi stressed that no one "can remain silent about
this, from a humanitarian and ethical" point of view.

He also urged the Syrian government "to cooperate"
with any international probe and "to punish" the perpetrators.

On Monday, the Syrian opposition denounced the
"massacre" of 47 women and children in the flashpoint central
city of Homs and activists posted videos online that showed
graphic images of charred bodies and children with mutilated
and bloodied faces.

Syrian state television also aired gruesome footage
showing homes with white walls splattered with blood, bodies
of women and children piled on top of each other, and several
men, with bullet wounds to the head, lying facing down in a
disused building, their hands tied behind their backs.

The grisly murders in Syria`s third-largest city Homs
came less than two weeks after regime troops stormed its
rebellious Baba Amr neighbourhood, following a month-long
bombardment in which activists say 700 people were killed.

There have been also mounting reports of casualties in
the northwestern province of Idlib where the Syrian army has
since March 9 carried out an offensive in the mountainous
region near the Turkish border.

Monitors say more than 8,500 people, mostly civilians,
have been killed in the Syrian regime year-long crackdown on
dissent while the United Nations has revised its estimated
death toll to more than 8,000.