Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar Assad killed at least 108 people and injured around 300, mostly women and children, on Friday in the town of Houla in Homs province, according to the UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday condemned the massacre in Syria’s Houla, expressing “revulsion”. The massacre was also roundly condemned by the international community, including the United Nations, the United States, Russia, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Union. A number of Western countries yesterday expelled Syrian ambassadors and officials in the strongest show so far of international outrage over the massacre of more than 100 people. The United Kingdom, US, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada have all asked Syrian diplomats to leave.
In Damascus the UN’s special envoy, Kofi Annan, described Syria as being at “tipping point.” “Words are wonderful but action is better. What is important is to demonstrate through action a real commitment to the plan. This is what the international community is asking for now – action, not words,” Annan said.
Iran yesterday blamed Israel for the on-going violence in Syria, Iran’s FARS news agency reported. Speaking at a weekly press conference, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast stated: “Any crime committed [in Syria] can be traced back to the [Israeli] regime’s hirelings.”
Mehmanparast touted the UN-Arab League Annan plan to end the bloodshed in Syria, calling it the only way to settle the on-going crisis, but blamed Israel for deliberately sabotaging the plan: “We palpably feel the Zionist regime’s hand in Syria’s internal developments,” Mehmanparast said, adding that “The Zionist regime’s backers aspire to the failure of Annan’s plan.”