According to a Syrian Arab News Agency report, on May 30the Syrian government stated that the charg¨¦ d¡¯affaires for the Dutch diplomatic mission stationed in Damascus had been given 72 hours to leave Syria. On May 29, several Western states simultaneously expelled Syrian diplomats.
Reuters reported that the lead observer for the group of UN Inspectors in Syria, General Mood, announced the discovery of 13 dead bodies in eastern Deir Ezzor. The hands of the deceased had been bound together; some of them had been shot in the head at close proximity.
On the 29, the Syrian cabinet met and discussed the present situation. During the meeting, the Syrian Prime Minister Adel Safar announced that the massacre in the town of Houla was clearly an attempt by foreign powers to subsidize terrorism, to destroy the stability of Syrian national sovereignty, and to break Kofi Annan¡¯s ¡°Peace Plan.¡± He indicated that the government will resolutely crack down on terrorist activity, make every effort to investigate and punish the murderers responsible for the Houla massacre, and to restore national stability.
According to information divulged by a Syrian official—on May 29, Syrian security forces arrested several terrorists in Holmes and other locations. They also seized large quantities of weapons, including automatic rifles, timed explosives, and even poison gas style bombs. UN Undersecretary Ladsous believes that there is not enough evidence to clearly show that the government military and its supporters carried out the massacre, but there is also insufficient evidence to confirm that the massacre was carried out by the opposing faction.
US Department of State Spokesperson Victoria Nuland criticized the Houla massacre organized by and carried out by supporters of Iran and the military organization set up by the Bashar al-Assad regime. Currently diplomatic relations still exist between Syria and the United States. The United States has allowed mid- and low-level staff of the Syrian diplomatic mission stationed in the United States to remain in the country.
The United States believes that ¡°the only thing Bashar al-Assad is going to listen to is pressure.¡± Nuland stated that America will continue to look for ways to economically, politically, and diplomatically pressure the Bashar al-Assad regime. Furthermore, Nuland stated that the United States ¡°reserves the right to consider all necessary options.¡± In United Nations Security Council, America¡¯s next step will be to pursue a resolution in accordance with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Chapter Seven of the UN Charter provides that when international peace is threatened, destroyed, or an act of
aggression occurs, the Security Council may take every step to protect peace including economic sanctions, severing diplomatic relations, and the use of military force.
On May 30, in response to the proposals by several Western nations to consider military interference, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov indicated that Russia would use it its veto in the UN Security Council against a resolution for military interference in Syria. Russia again strongly urged Western countries to exert pressure on the faction opposing the Syrian government. On May 29, with the support of the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov called for an objective investigation, free of prejudice.
On the same day, French President Francois Hollande stated that he has not eliminated the possibility of military intervention. However, he ensured that that prior to military action UN Security Council authorization must be obtained.
In the East, Japanese foreign minister Koichiro Genba declared on May 30 that the Japanese government had already demanded that the Syrian ambassador stationed in Japan leave the country. He emphasized that responsibility for the Houla massacre rests primarily with the Syrian government. Japan has strongly denounced this inhumane use of violence.
A report published in London by the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, says that the United States on the one hand is militarily preparing to topple the Syrian regime, and on the other hand is attempting to politically (through sanctions and other means) push al-Assad from the stage. America has joined many other Western countries in expelling Syrian diplomats. This move is aimed at further isolating Syria, forcing it to submit to ¡°political chess.¡±
By Wang Jing; translation by Matthew Couillard
Original Date Published: May 31st, 2012
Please see the original article here: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hqzx/2012-05/31/content_15431961.htm
Matt Couillard is originally from Scarborough, Maine. He currently attends Johns Hopkins University as a senior majoring Political Science and East Asian Studies. He has enjoyed traveling in southwestern China in the provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Tibet. After graduation he hopes to attend graduate school studying international politics.