Houla deaths: Western states to expel Syrian diplomats

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Houla deaths: Western states to expel Syrian diplomats

Post by Bryant on Tue May 29, 2012 1:09 pm

Houla deaths: Western states to expel Syrian diplomats
BBC News


Major Western powers say they are expelling senior Syrian diplomats following the killing of 108 people in the Houla region of Syria on Friday.

The United States, France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands all took action against Syria's envoys.

Most of the victims in Houla were summarily executed, the UN says.

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said, after talks with President Bashar al-Assad, Syria was at a "tipping point".

Mr Annan said he had asked Mr Assad to take "bold steps" to see that his peace plan was implemented.

President Assad blamed the violence on "terrorists". His remarks were quoted by state TV.

Earlier, UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said initial investigations had suggested that most of those killed in the village of Taldou, near Houla, were summarily executed.

He said 49 children and 34 women were among the victims. UN observers who visited Taldou said many of the victims had been killed by close-range gunfire or knife attacks.

Eyewitnesses told the BBC that pro-government shabiha militiamen had carried out the killings. Survivors said they had hidden or played dead.

Syrian leaders insist that the massacre was the work of "terrorists", aiming to derail the peace process and provoke intervention by Western powers.

'Heinous and brutal'

US state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland announced that the Syrian charge d'affaires in Washington had been given 72 hours to leave the country.

"We hold the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives [in Houla]," she said.

Canada denounced the Syrian government's "heinous and murderous acts" while Australia described the Houla massacre as a "hideous and brutal crime".

Spain talked of "unacceptable repression" and France's new Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, described President Assad as "the murderer of his people".

The French government said "the murderous folly" of the Damascus regime threatened regional security.

The Dutch declared Syria's ambassador to the Netherlands, who is also ambassador to Belgium and lives in Brussels, as "persona non grata".

Fellow EU state Bulgaria said it was expelling Syria's interim ambassador and two other diplomats in protest at the killings in Houla.

Despite the show of protest, it is unclear whether the mass diplomatic expulsions will change much on the ground, Bridget Kendall, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, says.

Syria's charge d'affaires in London has been given seven days to leave.

"The international community is appalled by the violence that has continued, by the behaviour of the regime, by the murder of so many innocent people," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

News of the expulsions was welcomed by Ronya Kaysar, a representative of Syrian opposition groups based in Qatar.

It would put "great pressure on the Syrian regime", she told BBC News.

'Bold steps'

President Assad said the success of Mr Annan's peace plan depended on halting what he called terrorist actions and stopping arms-smuggling.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Annan said the six-point international peace plan for Syria was not being implemented "as it must be".

"The Syrian people do not want the future to be one of bloodshed and division yet the killings continue and the abuses are still with us today," he said.

"I appealed to him [Mr Assad] for bold steps now - not tomorrow, now - to create momentum for the implementation of the plan."

The peace envoy said he had called on the Syrian government and all government-backed militias to show "maximum restraint".

Mr Annan also called for the "armed opposition to cease acts of violence", saying: "I need the president to act now. I need other parties to do their part."

Russia, which supplies arms to the Syrian government and has blocked UN resolutions calling for action against Damascus, has blamed both sides for Friday's massacre.

Its Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, expressed concern that "certain countries" were beginning to use the Houla massacre "as a pretext for voicing demands relating to the need for military measures to be taken".

Speaking to Mr Annan by telephone on Tuesday, he again urged an end to violence on all sides, and called for an impartial investigation into the killings in Houla under the aegis of the UN observer mission.

A meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria group is to meet in France in July, President Francois Hollande's office said.
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Re: Houla deaths: Western states to expel Syrian diplomats

Post by Marconius on Tue May 29, 2012 11:19 pm

On that note, we find out that the BBC used photos taken in 2003 to mislead others on the extent of the massacre. Hmmm, seems to me that FOX News isn't the only one that "lies".


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-massacre.html
http://www.infowars.com/bbc-caught-i...opaganda-hoax/

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"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Houla deaths: Western states to expel Syrian diplomats

Post by Bryant on Wed May 30, 2012 2:45 am

Marconius wrote:On that note, we find out that the BBC used photos taken in 2003 to mislead others on the extent of the massacre. Hmmm, seems to me that FOX News isn't the only one that "lies".


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-massacre.html
http://www.infowars.com/bbc-caught-i...opaganda-hoax/

Both links lead me to 'Page not found' notices.
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Re: Houla deaths: Western states to expel Syrian diplomats

Post by Bryant on Wed May 30, 2012 3:08 am

Marconius wrote:On that note, we find out that the BBC used photos taken in 2003 to mislead others on the extent of the massacre. Hmmm, seems to me that FOX News isn't the only one that "lies".


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-massacre.html
http://www.infowars.com/bbc-caught-i...opaganda-hoax/

I was eventually able to track down the Telegraph culture blog that you posted. I think its more reasonable to surmise that the incorrect photo was employed more as an oversight resulting from rushed publication than from an intent to deceive. The picture in question had already been removed by the time I read the article this morning.
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Re: Houla deaths: Western states to expel Syrian diplomats

Post by Marconius on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:28 pm

Bryant wrote:
Marconius wrote:On that note, we find out that the BBC used photos taken in 2003 to mislead others on the extent of the massacre. Hmmm, seems to me that FOX News isn't the only one that "lies".


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-massacre.html
http://www.infowars.com/bbc-caught-i...opaganda-hoax/

I was eventually able to track down the Telegraph culture blog that you posted. I think its more reasonable to surmise that the incorrect photo was employed more as an oversight resulting from rushed publication than from an intent to deceive. The picture in question had already been removed by the time I read the article this morning.

Only because the guy who took the photo complained loudly and publicly.

_________________
"If guns are supposed to kill people, then all of mine are defective..."
-The Honorable Ted Nugent

"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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