Germany To Expel Envoy Over Houla Massacre, Sueddeutsche Says
Russia condemns Syria for Houla massacre
All the main G7/ European countries (UK Spain Canada France Italy Germany) are expelling Syria-n ambassadors.
War declaration – https://twitter.com/#!/syriancommando
Spain expels Syrian ambassador in protest over regime ‘repression’.
Joint Chiefs Chmn Dempsey said over the weekend that the U.S. would act militarily if “asked to do so.”
U.S. expels Syrian envoy Zuheir Jabbour over Houla massacre along with other Western nations
This image made from amateur video released by the Shaam News Network May 28, 2012, purports to show black smoke rising from buildings in Homs, Syria. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)
(CBS/AP) WASHINGTON – The United States expelled Tuesday Syria’s top envoy in Washington in response to a particularly gruesome massacre in which the United Nations says families, including children, were shot at close range in their homes, CBS Radio News correspondent Cami McCormick reports.
Zuheir Jabbour, Syria’s charge d’affaires at the nation’s embassy, has 72 hours to leave the country, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. Syria has not had an ambassador in the United States since the previous envoy left last year to take another post.
“We hold the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives,” said Nuland. “This massacre is the most unambiguous indictment to date of the Syrian government’s flagrant violations of its U.N. Security Council obligations.”
The decision comes as governments around the world expelled ambassadors and top Syrian diplomats Tuesday in an unusually coordinated blow to Syria’s leaders.
Foreign Office makes clear Assad regime cannot act with impunity
Sir Geoffrey Adams said that unless the Syrian regime ceased all military operations immediately and implemented Kofi Annan’s six point plan in full, the international community would take further quick and robust action in response.
On 28 May the Syrian Chargé d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office to see the Political Director, Sir Geoffrey Adams.
Sir Geoffrey made clear the UK’s condemnation of the appalling massacre which took place in al-Houleh on 25 May which killed 108 people, including 49 children and 34 women.
Sir Geoffrey described this as a sickening and evil crime.
He said that an urgent international investigation should be carried out into the massacre and those responsible for acts of violence should be identified and held accountable. Sir Geoffrey said that unless the Syrian regime ceased all military operations immediately and implemented Kofi Annan’s six point plan in full, the international community would take further quick and robust action in response.
He restated that the responsibility to end the violence lay squarely with Assad and those around him, and that spiralling conflict and worsening sectarian violence was a product of the regime’s brutal response to dissent.
Most of the 108 people killed in Syria’s Houla region on Friday were summarily executed, the UN says.
A spokesman for the UN’s human rights office says witnesses told investigators that pro-regime militias carried out most of the killings.
Survivors have described gunmen entering homes, firing indiscriminately and slitting the throats of children.
The UN statement comes as UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is meeting President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
Hollande says to expel Syrian ambassador today or tomorrow – Hollande announces expulsion of Syrian ambassador to France
AFP: French President Francois Hollande announces expulsion of Syrian ambassador to France
Presient Hollande says Paris will host Friends of Syria meeting in early July
UN monitors in Syria: Most of 108 killed in Houla massacre were summarily executed by pro-Assad Shabbiya
‘Atrocities’ could trigger military intervention in Syria, Joint Chiefs chairman warns
Published May 28, 2012
The escalating “atrocities” in Syria could end up triggering a military intervention, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Fox News on Monday — following the massacre that left more than 100 dead.
The international community has scrambled to respond to the violence over the weekend, with the recognition that an international peace plan has failed to stem the fighting. The U.N. Security Council called an emergency session Sunday, with its members unanimously supporting a statement condemning the killings and blaming the Bashar al-Assad regime. Meanwhile, U.N. envoy Kofi Annan traveled to Syria for talks.
Dempsey said Monday, as he has in the past, that military options are being crafted.
“Of course — there is always a military option,” Dempsey said.
Russian arms ship turned away from Syria. President Putin’s first misstep
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2012, 11:05 AM (GMT+02:00)
Incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin, after taking stock of his first days of his third presidency, concluded that Moscow’s handling of the al-Houla massacre and Syria’s ongoing collapse into civil war will go down as a Russian foreign policy failure. He personally comes out of the policy as the patron of a bloodthirsty tyrant.
The Kremlin first tried presenting the slaughter of 108 people Friday and Saturday, among them 49 children and 34 women, as the work of unknown non-military bands, partly corroborating the Assad regime’s claim of terrorism.
This line was quickly abandoned and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was told Monday, May 28, to assign responsibility to “two sides” at his joint news conference in Moscow with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
But the information coming out of the Houla disaster area knocked that line on the head too: It turned out that the massacre was perpetrated by the town’s Alawites. Their victims were taken unprepared for their neighbors’ attacks, unlike the Sunni Muslims of Homs, Hama and Idlib and similarly mixed community towns, and mercilessly slaughtered in their homes by rampaging Alawites wielding knives, shot guns and pistols.
Syria has thousands of small and large mixed towns and villages divided by barricades manned by local militias – some for and some against Assad. The Houla massacre is therefore apt to be repeated across the country, plunging it into a full-blown civil and sectarian bloodbath.
Moscow is beginning to fear that Russia may be stigmatized as an accessory to this horror – and especially the foreign policy choices made by the new president.
Lavrov tried to save his government’s reputation by declaring out of the blue that Moscow no longer backs Bashar Assad and his regime and fully endorses the UN envoy Kofi Annan’s mission.
Annan was back in Damascus Tuesday holding talks with the Syrian ruler. It his hard to see how he can salvage even a vestige of his mission when the Syrian ruler has broken every commitment he made from the word go a month ago.
The other step decided by the Kremlin was to quietly order the Russian arms ship Professor Katsman to stop unloading its cargo at the Syrian port of Tartus, sail west and wait for fresh orders after the furor dies down. President Putin is clearly floundering before deciding on his next steps with regard to Syria and calculating to the last figure the cost of supplying the world’s most hated despot with arms and spreading a diplomatic net under his feet.
Political analyst Ibrahim Alloush told RT that the way the attack was done and its timing “make it obvious” that Damascus is not responsible.
“It would not make sense for the Syrian army to commit these massacres and withdraw, and then just let the rebels come and take photos and make documentaries about them,” he explained.
Alloush believes the crimes were committed “by the armed gangs supported from abroad, from the GCC countries and from the NATO specifically through Turkey.”
The analyst insists that the massacre in Houla was carried out in the context of a broad attack throughout the area.
“They also attacked the national hospital in the region and they set fire to it. Then they turned to civilian houses in some of the neighboring villages and they started killing indiscriminately,” he said, emphasizing that among those killed were people loyal to Assad.
Alloush also said that the timing of the attack makes it look suspicious.
“These crimes have come at a point when a political solution has slated for the Syrian question, and these people do not want to see a political solution – instead they want to see an armed intervention, an international foreign intervention in Syria under pretext of massacres,” he concluded.
ZURICH, May 29 (Reuters) – The Swiss government on Tuesday declared the Syrian ambassador an unwelcome person in Switzerland, joining other Western countries in expelling Syrian diplomats in response to a massacre in the town of Houla.———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Is Russia abandoning Syria?
Russia Condemns Syria Over Massacre Of 108 At Houla
BEIRUT — A weekend massacre of more than 100 people emerged as a potential turning point in the Syrian crisis Monday, galvanizing even staunch ally Russia to take an unusually hard line against President Bashar Assad’s government.
Analysts said Russia may be warning Assad that he needs to change course or lose Moscow’s support, which has been a key layer of protection for the Syrian government during the uprising that began in March 2011.