SNC Calls for Urgent UN Intervention and Declares a 3-Day National Mourning
Saturday, 26 May 2012
The Syrian National Council (SNC) strongly condemned the horrifying massacre carried out by Assad regime forces on Friday, May 25 in Houleh in the suburbs of Homs that claimed the lives of 88 people, including 50 children and 300 injured. Some victims were killed by mortar shelling, while others were slaughtered by knives. Entire families were killed in behavior reminiscent of the Dark Ages. Images that were released portray the barbarity of the attacks, especially since most victims were women and children. The SNC declared a 3-day period of national mourning and said that these days should witness an escalation of revolutionary activities against the regime and a swift response to the massacre with an increase in protests, especially in Damascus and Aleppo. The SNC also called upon the Free Syrian Army to prevent armed regime militias from reaching civilian areas by blockading roads with all possible means.
The criminal regime continues to escalate its campaign against the Syrian people with barbaric shelling and genocide in all cities and towns across the country. On Friday, May 25, Houleh in the suburbs of Homs was shelled violently for 12 consecutive hours. The shelling was followed by a massacre carried out by shabiha (thugs) and regime mercenaries during which children whose hands were tied up were slaughtered. Reports say that Assad regime loyalists from loyalist villages surrounding the town of Houleh slaughtered women and children. Some families were able to escape with the help of activists, while the fate of other families remains unknown.
In a statement issued by the SNC, the UN Security Council (UNSC) is urged to call for an emergency meeting to discuss the factors that led to the massacre occurring in the presence of UN observers. The SNC highlighted that the duty falls upon the UN to provide protection from acts of genocide and forced displacement of unarmed civilians by the Syrian regime. The SNC said it considered the international community primarily responsible for making decisions that would protect the Syrian people. One such decision would be pushing for a Chapter 7 resolution that would allow for the use of force to protect the Syrian people from the crimes of the Assad regime.
SNC President Burhan Ghalioun told reporters, "What happened in Houleh is a systematic crime intended to incite sectarian fires in the country. UN envoy Kofi Annan must go to Houleh as soon as he arrives in Syria so he can witness firsthand what happened there. We protest the international silence in regards to the regime's crimes, and call upon the UNSC to meet immediately and take deterrent action under Chapter 7." He continued by saying, "I told the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the monitors that I spoke to that Kofi Annan cannot continue his mission after the massacres that have taken place, as he visits Damascus without batting an eyelash."
The SNC also called upon the Arab League to hold an urgent meeting of the Ministerial Council to severe any remaining ties to the Assad regime, cut all diplomatic and economic ties to it, and call upon nations of the world to treat the regime in a manner befitting of its barbaric crimes.