Video: Bloody day in Syria
Transcript of: Bloody day in Syria
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: There is bad news out of Syria this evening. Government forces opened fire in the city of Hama , a stronghold of the opposition, and they killed at least 75 people. President Obama , upon learning the news, fired off a statement from the White House condemning the violence against the Syrian people . We get the latest tonight from NBC 's Mike Taibbi .
MIKE TAIBBI reporting: Dawn broke with thick smoke from tank fire surrounding the city of Hama , about 130 miles north of Damascus . In this amateur video described as coming from the scene, the narrator said government set fire to vehicles while shooting their way into the city. The narrator describes the coordinated attack using tanks and ground troops that unconfirmed reports later said left scores dead and hundreds wounded, many of the casualties reportedly shot at point-blank range. One blogger wrote that government troops even surrounded the city's main hospital to prevent treatment of the wounded. Government forces also confronted protesters in other Syrian cities, children among the victims; the death toll nationwide at more than 1600 now in these months of largely peaceful protests. But Hama has been a flash point city in control of activists who've promised daily demonstrations until Assad relinquishes power. Thus today's show of force against what the government called foreign terrorists. And with a growing number of government troops reportedly defecting to the protesters' side, one protest leader called today's attack an act of desperation by a regime in its last days. Mike Taibbi , NBC News in