International Pressure on Syria Grows After Massacre That Killed Over 50 Children

International pressure continues to grow on the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, which has been trying to put an end to a year-long uprising that threatens the Syrian government's iron rule.    

Today, in the aftermath of a horrific massacre in the Syrian township of Houla, the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned the attacks in Houla and called for an independent investigation into the incident. The measure passed overwhelmingly, with Syrian allies Russia, China and Cuba the only countries voting against the resolution.

Syria has restricted access to UN investigators trying to look into human rights abuses in the past.

The Los Angeles Times has more on the Human Rights Council action:

The human rights council also called for an independent investigation to identify the individuals who carried out the killings and gather evidence to possibly bring them to justice in the future. Their push for an independent inquiry came after Syria announced initial findings that opposition forces were responsible for the killings.

The resolution came the same day that opposition activistsalleged a new massacre of 12 factory workers had been carried out near the town of Qusayr. The newly reported killings are the third massacre reported from Syria in the last week. Besides the Houla and Qusayr incidents, authorities on Wednesday said the bodies of 13 men were found bound and shot near the eastern city of Dair Alzour.

The massacre in Houla has outraged world powers and fueled calls for international military intervention in Syria. Early this week, reports emerged that Syrian government forces shelled the township, which was controlled by the Free Syrian Army, an armed opposition group. After the shelling, government-allied forces went into the village and committed a massacre. At least 56 children were among the dead.

In response, Western governments and their allies expelled Syrian diplomats from their countries.

The Human Rights Council call for an investigation comes as a separate UN mission in Syria to monitor the implementation of a peace plan continues amidst widespread criticism. 

AlterNet / By Alex Kane

Posted at June 1, 2012, 9:35am

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