Syrian diplomats have been expelled from the United States after an international human rights watchdog reported that women and children were among the 108 civilians killed at close range in Houla.
"Today the United States informed the Syrian Chargé d'Affaires Zuheir Jabbour of his expulsion from the United States. He has 72 hours to leave the country," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
A report from a United Nations agency said the attacks were carried out using tanks and artillery that would only be available to the state military.
"We hold the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives," Nuland added.
Over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"Those who perpetrated this atrocity must be identified and held to account," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday. "And the United States will work with the international community to intensify our pressure on Assad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized the Obama administration's "feckless" foreign policy and the president's handing of the human rights crisis in Syria.
"Nearly 10,000 people have died. This is a brutal regime of incredible proportions," McCain said on "Fox News Sunday." "This administration has a feckless foreign policy that abandons American leadership."
"And what is the response of the United States and the rest of the international community to this latest mass atrocity in Syria?" McCain said in a statement Sunday. "More empty words of scorn and condemnation. More hollow pledges that the killing must stop. More strained expressions of shock at what has become tragically commonplace. All talk, but no action. And after 16 months, and more than 10,000 dead in Syria, Assad's slaughter continues."
France has also announced it would expel the Syrian Ambassador in protest against the killings. Earlier, Australia announced the expulsion of Ali and another diplomat from the Syrian Embassy in Canberra.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org