Qatar urges UN to act on Syria after massacre |
Gulf Times - 14 July, 2012
Qatar has condemned the massacre in the Syrian village of Tremseh, demanding an “immediate and serious” investigation.
“The government and people of Qatar have received news of the Al-Tremseh massacre with deep sorrow and a sense of shock and grief,” the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.
“The State of Qatar condemns in the strongest words this brutal massacre, which targeted innocent and unarmed persons of the town’s people and in which dozens of children, women, men and elderly people were killed,” QNA said.
Qatar “condemns in the strongest terms those who masterminded and perpetrated this heinous and shameful act,” the agency added.
“The State of Qatar, which was shocked by the new massacre, demands an immediate and serious investigation into it and the ones that preceded it as well as the pursuing and prosecution of the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.”
The agency said that international leniency with such massacres in the past had led to their recurrence.
“The State of Qatar calls on the world states and the UN oganisations to shoulder their political and humanitarian responsibilities and move swiftly to halt the tragedy that the Syrian people have been living for about six months,” QNA said.
The head of the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council, Abdellatif Zayani, also called for the UN Security Council to take firm action against Damascus after the mass killings in Tremseh in central Syria.
Zayani branded Thursday’s killings of more than 150 people “a savage, terrorist act contrary to the precepts of Islam” and urged the Security Council “to put an end to the painful tragedy of the Syrian people”.
Syrian opposition activists have put the death toll at Tremseh at anywhere from 100 to more than 200 people and said it was the work of government troops and militia allies.
The GCC secretary general, whose organisation groups Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, called for action under the world body’s Chapter VII, which could clear the way for military action.
He also urged a full investigation.
Several dozen rebels were among those killed in the village of Tremseh, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that some victims had been summarily executed.
The Britain-based group said that the names of 100 of the dead had been documented. The Observatory reported 30 badly burnt bodies were found, while 17 people were killed while they tried to flee the village.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed outrage over the new massacre and urged the UN Security Council to make clear to Damascus that there would be consequences.
Accounts of the attack on the village of Tremseh, including the use of artillery, tanks and helicopters, provide “indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent civilians”, she said.
“We call for an immediate ceasefire in and around Hama to allow the UN observer mission to enter Tremseh,” Clinton, who is travelling in Asia, said in a statement issued in Washington.
“Those who committed these atrocities will be identified and held accountable.”
Clinton said the massacre underscored the need for major powers to increase pressure on President Bashar al-Assad’s government to allow for a UN-backed political transition plan to move forward.
She said the UN Security Council - where veto-holders Russia and China have thrown the brakes on Western efforts to pass more punitive measures against Damascus - should now make clear that there would be consequences for non-compliance.
“History will judge this Council. Its members must ask themselves whether continuing to allow the Assad regime to commit unspeakable violence against its own people is the legacy they want to leave,” Clinton said.
France said that the UN Security Council must assume its responsibilities and pass a resolution backed by the threat of sanctions after the massacre in the Syrian village of Tremseh.
A ‘blatant violation’ of Annan plan
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton yesterday denounced the massacre in a Syrian village as “an atrocity” and “a blatant violation” of a plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
“I am deeply shocked by reports of the ruthless killing of at least 200 men, women and children” in the village of Tremseh in the Hama region, she said in a statement. “The regime’s use of heavy weaponry, including artillery and helicopters, which has been confirmed by UN observers, is a blatant violation of its obligations under the Annan plan.”