Syria Massacre Sparks International Outrage
Syria Massacre Sparks International Outrage, The killing of at least 109 people could be a tipping point for the ruling Assad regime.The U.N. Security Council on Sunday unanimously condemned the killing of at least 108 people, including many children, in the Syrian town of Houla, a sign of mounting outrage at the massacre that the government and rebels blamed on each other.
Images of bloodied and lifeless young bodies, laid carefully side by side after the onslaught on Friday, triggered shock around the world and underlined the failure of a six-week-old U.N. ceasefire plan to stop the violence.
Western and Arab states opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad put the blame for the deaths squarely on the government. But Damascus rejected the charge.
“The Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of (Houla), near Homs, in attacks that involved a series of government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighborhood,” the non-binding statement said.
“Such outrageous use of force against civilian population constitutes a violation of applicable international law and of the commitments of the Syrian Government under United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” the statement said.
The United Nations believes that at least 108 people were killed in Houla, U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said.
Russia, which along with China has vetoed two Security Council resolutions calling for tougher action against Damascus, said the “tragic” events in Syria deserve condemnation and called for a U.N. assessment of the violence there.
Russian Deputy U.N. Ambassador Alexander Pankin said the circumstances surrounding the massacre were “murky” and rejected the idea that the evidence clearly showed Damascus was guilty. (Reuters)
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