U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Washington Conference on the Americas in Washington
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Washington Conference on the Americas at the State Department in Washington May 11, 2011. REUTERS

Syrian troops trying to quash three months of protests are committing "alleged breaches of the most fundamental rights", while 1,100 unarmed civilians have been killed in the crackdown says a UN report.

The report reveals how the use of live ammunition against mostly unarmed civilians has killed around 1,100 people, and also documents arrests on a massive scale. Investigators believe as many as 10,000 people have been detained.

"The most egregious reports concern the use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians, including from snipers positioned on rooftops of public buildings and the deployment of tanks in areas densely populated by civilians," the reports states, before denouncing "the excessive use of force in quelling demonstrators, arbitrary detentions, summary executions, torture".

As they were denied entry to the country, investigators were forced to use evidence from rights groups and people who had fled Syria, only.

The report also confirms that the authorities reportedly denied civilians the right to food and medical care by laying siege to towns and preventing the delivery of food supplies and medicines, it adds.

"As of mid-June, the number of those killed during such incidents is believed to have exceeded 1,100 persons, many of them unarmed civilians; among them were women and children, "the reports claims.

Reports of alleged violations of the rights to freedom of assembly, expression, and movement, and of the rights to food and health have also been received.

"The material currently before the High Commissioner is a matter of grave concern and reflects a dire human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic. The alleged breaches of the most fundamental rights on such a broad scale require thorough investigation and, with respect to the perpetrators, full accountability," states the document.

Meanwhile, the Syrian authorities, who deny any wrong doing, have called on the people of Jisr al-Shughour to return, days after an army attack restored government control there.

More than 8,000 Syrians have fled from the north-western town into Turkey in the past week to escape military operations, which the government says are aimed at tackling "terrorist organisations". Other very different accounts however emerged, this time from the civilian side as people started to say that the policemen had been killed by the government forces as they defected the Assad regime.

As the government continue its pro-regime propaganda, Syrian state media have reported attacks on government buildings and security headquarters in the town, which straddles the main highway between Syria's two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo.

President al-Assad insists he will not leave and remains very defiant, as he knows he still has friends in the region. However the more the protests persist, the more difficult it will be for the leader to deny that he is clearly facing the gravest threat to his family's 40-year ruling dynasty.

Originally the unrest first erupted in the south of the country but has now engulfed the north, near the border with Turkey, and is threatening to spread eastwards towards its border with Iraq.

As anti-regime demonstrations continued in many parts of the country, the government was accused on Wednesday to mobilise its own demonstration of popular support as thousands of people turned out in a Damascus suburb to wave a giant Syrian flag 2.4 km (1.4 miles) long.

Pro-Assad supporters waved pictures of the President Assad and chanted slogans praising him, while state TV insisted the event was organised to show the Syrian people's cohesion, and rejection of foreign interference.

Although it has not yet responded to the UN report, Syria has expressed "surprise" at Arab League Chief Amr Moussa's position that the situation there was "dangerous and worrying".

While Turkey has accepted to receive the refugees, the latter are not allowed talking to foreign Medias or Turkish civilians, and Assad was one of the first person to personally call Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to congratulate him on the Turkish election results.

Iran is also a strong ally and so is Lebanon as, following the announcement of the new cabinet, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Assad exchanged praises.

As most western leaders have called for the Syrian President to step out or at least to start implementing a new set of reforms immediately, Hillary Clinton has today also accused Iran of assisting the Syrian regime in its on-going and bloody crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.

In a statement, the U.S Secretary of State said: 'Iran is supporting the Assad regime's vicious assaults on peaceful protesters and military actions against its own cities.

'Two years ago this week, Iranian citizens went to the polls in the hopes of expressing their democratic rights.

'When the people reached for their aspirations, the government responded with brutal repression. Two years later, that repression continues.'

Tehran has strongly denied any involvement in Syria and has accused the United States and Israel of supporting 'terrorist' acts. It seems that the War on Terror rhetoric has now been recuperated by various Middle East governments. While it was for the past ten years largely used by western regimes as a tool to legitimise tougher security and immigration policies as well as the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Arab regime have now shown they were ready to recycle the argument.

The situation in Syria is quite worrying as Assad's friends can sometimes be as scary, if not more, than him. It is however unclear what Hilary Clinton seeks by accusing Teheran. While the US has repeatedly attacked Iran through speeches, President Ahmadinejad has never pretended to be too keen on America either. The relationship between the two countries broke down a long time ago, however, the war on terror clearly put Iran back at the top of the list of the US political enemies as the country was said to be part of the famous axis of evils.

As much as the US wants to find a way to incriminate the Iranian regime, and as guilty as the latter might be, the administration should remember that at the moment, people in Syria are calling for Assad not Ahmadinejad to leave.