The massacre in the place known as Houla has kept worldwide attention on the relentless violence in Syria. Western countries and the United Nations blame Syrian government troops and pro-government thugs for killing more than a hundred people, nearly half of them children. NPR's Kelly McEvers made a closer examination of those events and found that's only part of the picture.
Syrian rebels said they are no longer holding their fire. Reuters reports that the rebels are walking away from the United-Nations-backed truce with the regime of Bashar Assad.
"We have decided to end our commitment to this (ceasefire)," Free Syrian Army spokesman Major Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters. "We have resumed our attacks but we are doing defensive attacks which means we are only attacking checkpoints in the cities."
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
In two days, voters in Wisconsin will decide whether or not to recall their governor, Republican Scott Walker. It's been one of the most expensive statewide races in American history. And the stakes in that election could have national implications for unions, for deficit hawks, for businesses, even for President Obama's re-election. We'll tell you why in a moment in our cover story today, but first to some news out of Syria.
With violence escalating and journalists barred from the country, it's becoming harder to know how far and fast Syria is slipping into chaos. Host Guy Raz speaks with Paul Wood, world affairs correspondent for the BBC and one of few western journalists to have visited in the country in recent weeks. Then Raz speaks with Marwa Daoudy, visiting professor at Princeton from Oxford University, and Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, about the stakes of Western intervention to halt the violence.