Syria: Houla; UN condemns Assad, broke pledges

Dramatic Security Council meeting, Russia veto avoided

28 May, 12:19

(ANSAmed) - NEW YORK, MAY 28 - The international community's indignation over the Houla massacre in Syria is enormous. In the end the UN, which called an urgent meeting of the Security Council, ''condemns in the firmest possible way the killing - confirmed by Un observers - of dozens of men, women and children and the injuring of hundreds of others,'' in battles which ''entailed bombardment by government artillery.'' In this way Assad's regime violated the United Nations resolution which calls for Damascus to halt all violence, including the use of heavy artillery on the civilian population. The final statement issued by the 15 members of the Security Council includes the signature of Russia - which was by no means to be assumed. A veto by Russia, which was threatened until the very last moment, was in the end avoided by removing from the text the part in which full responsibility for the massacre - over 100 dead including many children - was laid on the Syrian armed forces, in line with what was said by the head of the UN mission in Syria, Robert Mood, who in a video connection admitted that ''many of the circumstances of what has happened have yet to be established''. Some of the latter include many people shot at close range and following unprecedented violence. For this reason the Security Council have asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for an investigation into what really transpired.

At the end of the statement an appeal was included for ''all violence, in all of its forms and from whatever side it comes,'' to be halted. At this point - after a meeting which those present at the UN describe as agitated and dramatic at certain points - even the Russian representative gave the go-ahead.

After having decisively rejected the French-British draft calling for the condemnation ''of the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by the Syrian government forces against civilians''. Meanwhile, with British Foreign Minister William Hague on his way to Moscow to convince the Kremlin to support international actions against Damascus, the New York Times has revealed US President Obama's plan: resolve the Syrian crisis with a ''soft transition'' calling for Assad to go into exile while at the same time leaving part of his government in power. The latter is the so-called ''Yemeni solution'', which Obama will be illustrating to Russian president Vladimir Putin in his face-to-face meeting next month on the fringes of the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18-19.(ANSAmed).

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