YET ANOTHER SYRIAN MASSACRE IN HOULA
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously condemned , on Sunday 05/27/2012, the use of heavy weapons in the Houla massacre that left 108 people killed, on Friday 05/26/2012, including 49 children and 34 women. The council asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN observer mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to continue investigating the attacks in Houla near the restive town of Homs (see – Homs Massacre).
The council said in a press statement issued after an emergency meeting on Sunday that the “outrageous use of force” against civilians violated international law and Syrian government commitments under Security Council resolutions to cease violence, including the use of heavy weapons in populated areas.
The UN body again demanded that the forces of President Bashar Assad withdraw heavy weapons from Syrian towns. Britain and France had proposed a statement making an even stronger condemnation of the Assad government. But Russia, as usual, would not agree on the wording and demanded a special meeting before approving the statement.
Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari reiterated his government’s denial, saying the massacre was committed by “armed terrorist groups” – the Syrian government’s term for the rebels. He also dismissed the “tsunami of lies” of the British, French and German envoys, who blamed the government for the massacre.
Major General Robert Mood, head of the UN mission in Syria, gave details of the UN investigation by video conference. Mood said there were signs of tank shelling, mortar fire and “physical abuse,” and said the deaths were from “shrapnel” and gunfire at “point-blank” range, diplomats at the closed-door UN meeting said.
Special envoy Kofi Annan is to go to Damascus on Monday, the Syrian foreign ministry said. He has said he will renew condemnation of the Houla killings as he seeks to rescue his six-point peace plan.
There are now more than 280 unarmed military observers in Syria to monitor a cessation of hostilities that started on 04/12/2012 but lurches closer to collapse each day.
The rebel Free Syrian Army- FSA warned that unless the international community took concrete action it would no longer be bound by Annan’s peace plan (see also – Shiite Arc).
Meanwhile in a new push to stop growing bloodshed in Syria, US President Barack Obama plans to seek Russia’s help to ease out President Bashar Assad under “the Yemenskii Variant, (see -Mukalla 02.25.12)” a proposal modeled on the transition in Yemen. When Obama brought it up with Russian PM Dimitri Medvedev at the G-8 summit at Camp David last weekend, Medvedev appeared receptive, US officials said, signaling that Russia would prefer that option to other transitions in the Arab upheaval.
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02/2012 -THE SYRIAN DiLEMA
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