Syrian regime denies being behind the Houla massare

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The Syrian government denied Sunday its troops were behind an attack on a string of villages that left more than 90 people dead, blaming the killings on “hundreds of heavily-armed gunmen” who also attacked soldiers in the area.

Friday’s assault on Houla, an area northwest of the central city of Homs, was one of the bloodiest single events in Syria’s 15-month-old uprising. The U.N. says 32 children under 10 were among the dead. The international body and others have issued statements appearing to hold the Syrian regime responsible.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi told reporters in Damascus at a news conference that Syria is being subjected to a “tsunami of lies” on Houla. “We categorically deny the responsibility of government forces for the massacre,” Makdissi said.

Makdissi said a committee was set up to investigate the incident and results should be out within three days. He added that U.N. envoy Kofi Annan will be in Syria on Monday.

The attacks sparked outrage from American and other international leaders, and renewed concerns about the relevance of a month-old international peace plan that has not stopped almost daily violence.

U.N. observers, among more than 250 who were dispatched in recent weeks to salvage the cease-fire plan, found spent artillery and tank shells at the site Saturday — a finding which would point toward the government’s heavily-armed mechanized units.

“Those who use violence for their own agenda will create more instability, more unpredictability and may lead the country to civil war,” warned the observers’ chief Maj. Gen. Robert Mood in a statement.

Makdissi however said “hundreds of heavily-armed gunmen carrying machineguns, mortars and anti-tank missiles” launched the attack, that started at about 2 p.m. and lasted nine hours, simultaneously from several locations. He added that five army positions in the area came under attack at the same time leaving three soldiers dead and 16 wounded.

“There were no Syrian tanks or artillery in the vicinity” of Houla, Makdissi said. He added that gunmen used anti-tank missiles and “Syrian troops retaliated in defense of their positions.”

Kuwait, which currently heads the 22-member Cairo-based Arab League, announced it is calling for an Arab ministerial meeting that aims to “take steps to put an end to the oppressive practices against the Syrian people.”

An unnamed foreign ministry official was quoted by Kuwait’s official news agency, KUNA, as condemning the attack in Houla and blamed regime forces for the “ugly crime.” The official said Kuwait is making contacts so that the international community can “assume its responsibilities to stop the blood shedding of Syrian brothers.”

The U.N. had denounced the attacks in a statement that appeared to hold President Bashar Assad’s regime responsible, and the White House called the violence acts of “unspeakable and inhuman brutality.” Syria blames armed “terrorist groups.”

“Children, women and other innocent people were killed in their homes and this is not what the Syrian army does,” Makdissi said. “The method of killing was brutal.”

The bloodshed is yet another blow to the international peace plan brokered by Annan and cast a pall over his coming visit to check on the plan’s progress. The cease-fire between forces loyal to the regime of Assad and rebels seeking to topple it was supposed to start on April 12 but has never really taken hold, with new killings every day.

The U.N. put the death toll weeks ago at more than 9,000. Hundreds have been killed since.

Also Sunday, government troops shelled residential areas in central Syria.

The shelling hit neighborhoods in the central city of Hama and the rebel-held town of Rastan north of Homs, the Local Coordination Committees and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The two groups also reported clashes between troops and rebels in Hama, in the Damascus suburb of Harasta and in the capital’s central Midan district. They said a bomb struck a security vehicle in the capital’s upscale district of Mazzeh — near a military airport, according to the LCC.

The Observatory said the vehicle bombing caused casualties but did not have other details on the dead or wounded from the day’s violence.

A video posted online by activists showed thick black smoke billowing from what it said was Mazzeh.

Damascus is tightly controlled by regime forces but has been hit by a wave of blasts over recent months that claimed the lives of scores of people. Most of the blasts have targeted Syrian security agencies.

The Associated Press

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24 responses to “Syrian regime denies being behind the Houla massare”

  1. guss043 Avatar
    guss043

    From where the animals come from, Israel with all its cruelty didnt reach 1% of the wild animals working for the Haiwan named Assad 

    1. zabada Avatar

       yes.i agree.All nation must defeat Assad and bring him,along with his evil men to the un court in Hague.we will see.

    2. zabada Avatar

       The fist bomb drop on Assad palace,there are many defectors,in armies and top Syrian leaders.In a few weeks all event are well settle.U.n armies there, for  a year.Creating full democracy.The majority of any kind of believe must be a top leader.All master of crime must be punish.After this all,there are no more chaos.Believe in me.

  2. guss043 Avatar
    guss043

    From where the animals come from, Israel with all its cruelty didnt reach 1% of the wild animals working for the Haiwan named Assad 

    1.  yes.i agree.All nation must defeat Assad and bring him,along with his evil men to the un court in Hague.we will see.

    2.  The fist bomb drop on Assad palace,there are many defectors,in armies and top Syrian leaders.In a few weeks all event are well settle.U.n armies there, for  a year.Creating full democracy.The majority of any kind of believe must be a top leader.All master of crime must be punish.After this all,there are no more chaos.Believe in me.

  3. Fauzia45 Avatar
    Fauzia45

     The regime is always denying !!An independent committee should be set up to investigate!!!!

    1. MeYosemite Avatar
      MeYosemite

      Doesn’t make a difference. Satellite and drones photos are shown at UN security council. Assad kicking out the press forsakes his own credibility as he has no proof either.

  4. Fauzia45 Avatar
    Fauzia45

     The regime is always denying !!An independent committee should be set up to investigate!!!!

    1. MeYosemite Avatar
      MeYosemite

      Doesn’t make a difference. Satellite and drones photos are shown at UN security council. Assad kicking out the press forsakes his own credibility as he has no proof either.

  5. Patience2 Avatar
    Patience2

    Well … do you expect them to stand up and take a bow??

    1. zabada Avatar

      They must take all nation bows.Because, they are too crazy to live.

  6. Patience2 Avatar
    Patience2

    Well … do you expect them to stand up and take a bow??

    1. They must take all nation bows.Because, they are too crazy to live.

  7. zabada Avatar

    Most Arabs leaders don,t know what is democracy means..they practice old kind politics,dictator or kings and give the top position to their sons and their families.This is fault.Democracy,now, means always have new leaders.Arab leaders must learn this.Many Arabs likes democracy,full democracy.This two ways ,old kind of politic and new kind of politic, democracy,drive a civil in many Arab countries.Lack of civilization,knowledge,bring chaos there.Arab leaders now too fool and too greedy to know new kind of democracy that influence all over the world,including so many Arabs.They are not follow their own best tradition at the time of prophet and fur fist caliph.Even four fist caliph run nice democracy not become a king and dictators.What kind of Arab they are now?.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      TRADITION Ustaz. Tradition. Where ‘culture’ dictates the ‘stuck-in-the-mud’ thinking, and refuses to allow people to discover new ways – either to express themselves, or to change the politics that control the society.
      To take what is good, and leave what no longer works for humans, is a very slow process in some cultures – while some have thrown culture away completely, some guard it as if it’s a religious need. People are weird. 🙂

  8. Most arabs leaders don,t know what is democracy means..they practice old kind politics,dictator or kings and give the top position to their sons and their families.This is fault.Demoraciy,now, means always have new leaders.Arab leaders must learn this.arabs likes democracy,full democracy.This two ways believe old kind of politic and new kind of politic democracy,drive a civil in many Arab countries.Lack of civilization,knowledge bring chaos there.Even four fist run nice democracy not become a sand dictators.What kind of Arab they are now?.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      TRADITION Ustaz. Tradition. Where ‘culture’ dictates the ‘stuck-in-the-mud’ thinking, and refuses to allow people to discover new ways – either to express themselves, or to change the politics that control the society.

  9. zabada Avatar

    The heart of Arab.I have been told from my friend,that prophet Muhammad said “I am Arab,but I have non Arab heart”.I not find yet this verses in any books.Some one find it please.The scene of Arab politic now show us the verses are true.But I hope that verses are not exist.

    1. MeYosemite Avatar
      MeYosemite

      I heard that before also. Don’t remember where.

  10. The heart of Arab.I have been told from my friend,that prophet Muhammad said “I am Arab,but I have non Arab heart”.I not find yet this verses in any books.Some one find it please.The scene of Arab politic now show us the verses are true.But I hope that verses are not exist.

    1. MeYosemite Avatar
      MeYosemite

      I heard that before also. Don’t remember where.

  11. zabada Avatar

    The prohet Muhammad s.a.w said about world politic Time line .                                                                                                                                                                     1.the rule by prophet..
    2.the rule by khulafa araasyidin (devout caliph) – demoracy. (limited demoracy-the best of demoracy-my view)
    3.the rule by kings.
    4.the rule by dictators
    5.the rule by the leaders that have khulafa arrasydin (devout caliph) footsteps all over the world – (new open democray-my view)

    For this quote by the Prophet, I believe all kings and dicators in this world will be replace with democracy.So I urge all dictators and kings to step down before they are force to do that and cause so many casualties.

  12. The prohet Muhammad s.a.w said about world politic Time line .                                                                                                                                                                     1.the rule by prophet..
    2.the rule by khulafa araasyidin (devout caliph) – demoracy. (limited demoracy-the best of demoracy-my view)
    3.the rule by kings.
    4.the rule by dictators
    5.the rule by the leaders that have khulafa arrasydin (devout caliph) footsteps all over the world – (new open democray-my view)

    For this quote by the Prophet, I believe all kings and dicators in this world will be replace with democracy.So I urge all dictators and kings to step down before they are force to do that and cause so many casualties.

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