The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution condemning in the strongest possible terms the horrific massacre that took place in Houla, Syria. The resolution calls for an in-depth investigation by the independent international Commission of Inquiry on Syria into the massacre in which over 100 Syrian civilians were killed, including over 40 children.
In order for the killing to stop in Syria it is critical that the international community work together with the Syrian opposition and on behalf of the Syrian people. In addition, the international community must stand united to isolate and weaken the Assad regime before it kills more of its own people. Unfortunately, there has been consistent arms trade from Russia to Syria over the past year.
“I think they (Russians) are,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “in effect, propping up the regime at a time when we should be working on a political transition. So I look forward to working with Kofi Annan, with likeminded nations..., and with the Russians to see if we can’t get a way forward.”
The United States continues to support Kofi Annan and his efforts. “And we do so fully aware,” said Secretary Clinton, “that thus far Assad has not implemented any of the six points that are part of the Kofi Annan plan. But we also know that the UN observers have performed two important functions. In many of the areas where they are present, violence has gone down. And they serve as independent observers – the eyes of the world, if you will – in reporting back when terrible events like the recent massacres occur.”
There is still fear among Syrians that as brutal as the Assad regime has been, it could get worse. That’s why the U.S. continues to call on business, religious, and military leaders to stand up now and call a halt to further support for this regime.
Our message to the Syrian people is clear said Secretary Clinton, “the world stands by you, and we will not ignore your plight in the face of ongoing violence, to the Assad regime, the time has come to end the flagrant abuses of the human rights of your people and to step aside so that Syria can transition peacefully and democratically.”