Who organized the coordinated expelling of Syrian diplomats? Artillery shelling DID NOT HAPPEN in Houla
Three senior Syrian diplomats are to be expelled, the Foreign Office has confirmed.
Others including France, Germany and Australia are also expelling diplomats in a coordinated protest against the killing of civilians.
The UN has said most of the 108 civilians killed in Syria’s Houla region on Friday, including 49 children, were “executed”.
The Syrian Ambassador left the UK earlier this year for health reasons.
The diplomats being expelled are the head of mission in the London embassy and two other senior figures.
The BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall said the Foreign Office wanted to send a stark message to the Syrian government in the wake of the Houla killings that it can not expect to act with impunity.
France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United States, Canada and Australia are among other countries also asking Syrian officials to leave.
The expulsions “expressed our horror at the behaviour” of the Syrian government, Mr Hague added.
“We are increasing the pressure on the Assad regime and getting the message across that the international community is appalled by the murder of so many innocent people.
UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has said the country has reached a “tipping point” after more than a year of conflict.
Mr Annan made the remarks after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Mr Annan told reporters the six-point international peace plan for Syria was not being implemented “as it must be”.
Meanwhile, several Western states announced they were expelling Syrian diplomats following Friday’s massacre in the Houla region, in which 108 died.
“I appealed to him [Mr Assad] for bold steps now – not tomorrow, now – to create momentum for the implementation of the plan,” Mr Annan said.
Western states are expelling Syrian diplomats amid accusations government-backed militias were behind the Houla massacre. The majority of the victims killed in the bloody attack were executed at close range, the UN’s human rights office said.
The UN High Commissioner for Human rights Rupert Colville said Tuesday that “under 20 of 108 killed in the attack can be attributed to artillery and tank fire,” Reuters cites him as saying
“What is very clear is this was an absolutely abominable event that took place in Houla, and at least a substantial part of it was summary executions of civilians, women and children,” Colville told reporters in Geneva. “At this point, it looks like entire families were shot in their houses,” the agency reports.
Survivors told UN monitors at the scene that the score of door to door killings which left 49 children and 39 women dead, were carried out by pro-government Shabbiya militia forces.
Other eyewitnesses have pinned the blame on rebel fighters, claiming the attacks were retribution for those who refused to take up arms against government forces.
Damascus has denied any involvement in the massacre, blaming “armed terrorists” attempting to destabilize the peace process for the killings.
On Tuesday, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Australia all announced they would expel their Syrian ambassadors in response to the weekend’s massacre.
The UN according to Associated Press, has stated that, “most of the 108 victims of a massacre in [Houla] Syria last week were shot at close range, some of them women, children and entire families gunned down in their own homes.” The UN has also stated that militants, not Syrian soldiers, were responsible for the massacre. The report cites “witness accounts” claiming the militants were “pro-government thugs known as shabiha,” while the Syrian government has claimed the militants were foreign-backed armed terrorists.
This stands in stark contrast to the original narrative the US, UK, France and other NATO members have used to accuse the Syrian government for the atrocities, and even as the basis to expel Syrian diplomats. As stated by UK Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, (emphasis added) “We are appalled at what appears to be credible reports that the Syrian regime has been responsible for the deaths of 92 civilians in Houla, including 32 children. The UN Head of Mission has been able to confirm the numbers and also that artillery tank shells have been used. If this is the case then it’s an act of pure, naked savagery and we condemn it in the most strongest possible terms.”
children have been killed..both sides stand accused..both sides are complicit..they werent killed by shelling..but you wont find your governments fixing that little fact up with a media release..no..they expel and join the coordinated move to ramp up the pressure on russia and china to allow them to go to war with syria..this is a game of bluff and counter bluff with innocents being killed..we know the rebels have kill squads..we have seen this on the blog before..and we know the army would have kill squads..so how do they tell who does it and why should we believe our media?..oh..thats right..we are the good guys..and they are the bad guys..thanks..