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Eyewitness Accounts From Syria Paint Gruesome Picture

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"Those who can flee, do.  Those who can't will die sitting down"

Though access to certain regions of Syria remains extremely limited, eyewitness accounts are beginning to trickle out.  The BBC, in particular, has been able to conduct first-hand interviews with a number of refugees:

One woman, who had walked for three days to escape, said that on Friday troops [took] 36 men and boys from one area and killed them.  "My son's throat was cut," she said. "He was 12."

Her husband said he was hiding about 50m away and saw one soldier hold down their son's head with his boot while another killed him.  "I could hear their screams," he added.

Another woman said: "They took our husbands. They took them at a checkpoint. They will slaughter them like sheep."

Furthermore, army defectors are beginning to reveal the orders they were given while still "serving."  One said, "We were told in this operation: 'You shoot anything that moves. Civilian or military - you shoot at it.'"

Activists have warned of an even greater oncoming catastrophe as food supplies run perilously low, water is cut off, and the temperature plummets.  A commission from the UN Human Rights Council has said that Syria "committed widespread, systematic and gross human rights violations, amounting to crimes against humanity, with the apparent knowledge and consent of the highest levels of the state," while the EU has vowed to document the war crimes for a future "day of reckoning."

The Associated Press estimates that Jordan now has 80,000 Syrian refugees, Turkey 11,000, and Lebanon 10,000.  Many have crossed within the last few days.  "What are we supposed to do? People are sitting in their homes and they are hitting us with tanks," one woman said. "Those who can flee, do. Those who can't will die sitting down."

You can check out video of one British journalist talking about the "systematic slaughter" over the weekend:

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