Syria state TV accuses foreign groups of biased reporting
Syrian state-run television on Thursday accused foreign organisations of bias for the rebels after Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused government forces of carrying out airstrikes against civilians, dpa reported.
New York-based HRW said in a report called "Death from the Skies" that government airstrikes had on eight occasions targeted civilians queuing for bread outside bakeries in rebel-held areas and repeatedly struck hostpitals. Some 152 civilians were killed in the attacks.
"These attacks are serious violations of international humanitarian law," it said. "People who commit such violations with criminal intent are responsible for war crimes." It added that its report was based on 140 interviews and visits to some 50 sites.
Without naming HRW, Syrian state television said foreign organizations rely only on accounts by opposition activists when reporting about the war in Syria.
The broadcaster showed what it said government troops helping civilians in areas allegedly shelled by rebels near Damascus.
Local activists claim that more than 4,300 people have been killed in government airstrikes since July 2012, the HRW report said.
"We have been saying and showing pictures of targeted bakeries, hospitals and whole neighbourhoods where there was no presence of the revolutionary fighters," said Samir al-Nashaar of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, adding the report was "a bit late."
"We hope this new report will help convince the world that Syrian civilians are being slaughtered by the regime."
The opposition has repeatedly urged the West to arm the rebels in the two-year revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
Western powers are reluctant to arm the rebels, fearing that weapons will end up reaching radical Islamists linked to al-Qaeda.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 45 people were killed by government troops in the restive southern province of Daraa.
The victims included five children and seven women mostly executed in the village of Sanamine, it added.
Daraa is the birthplace of the uprising, which started in March 2011.