Al Arabiya , 27 May 2012 - The White House said on Sunday that the recent mass killing of civilians, including women and children, in the Syrian town of al-Houla was a further evidence of an inhuman and illegitimate Syrian government.
“These acts serve as a vile testament to an illegitimate regime that responds to peaceful political protest with unspeakable and inhuman brutality,” a White House spokesman said.
Russina deputy foreign minister, meanwhile, said the “tragic” events deserved condemnation and called for a U.N. investigation.
Russia deputy foreign minister, meanwhile, said the “tragic” events deserved condemnation and called for a U.N. investigation.
The head of U.N. monitors in Syria has told the Security Council that 116 people were killed and 300 injured in the Houla carnage.
Hours earlier, General Robert Mood told Al Arabiya that perpetrators of the killing “will be held accountable and will be punished,” and indicated that an investigation was still underway to determine the parties responsible, adding that artillery shelling over distance increased the death toll.
Diplomats say the U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon to discuss the carnage.
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations cast doubt on the culpability of Syria’s government for the massacre.
“We need to establish whether it was the Syrian authorities,” Igor Pankin told reporters at the United Nations. “There are substantial grounds to believe that the majority of those who were killed were either slashed, cut by knives, or executed at point blank distance.”
The diplomats say Britain and France proposed issuing a press statement condemning the Houla massacre, but Russia told council members it could not agree and wanted a briefing first by the general heading the U.N. observer mission in Syria.
The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the briefing by Maj. Gen. Mood was being arranged. Russia called for a council meeting to begin at 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT).
The U.N. and others have issued statements appearing to hold the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad responsible. The Syrian government has denied responsibility for the Houla killings.