Massacre in Syria unlikely to change international community’s course of action

A massacre in the Syrian town of Houla that left over 100 people dead, including 49 children, last Friday has been widely condemned but is unlikely to change the international community’s response to the ongoing crisis.

The UN issued a non-binding resolution on Sunday condemning the “outrageous use of force” and blaming the forces of President Bashar al Assad, as reported by The Guardian. Former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan is in Syria today trying to bring back focus to his joint UN-Arab League peace plan.

Russia, a close Syria ally that has been an obstacle in drafting previous resolutions on Syria, signed the document this time. But today, the BBC reports, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said both government and rebel forces should share the blame for the killings. Lavrov also stressed: “We do not support the Syrian government. We support the plan of Kofi Annan.”

China, another one of Syria’s powerful commercial allies, is playing the same game. From Reuters:

China on Monday condemned the “cruel killings” of civilians in the Syrian town of Houla, while insisting that peace mediator Kofi Annan’s efforts remained the most viable way to end the violence in Syria.

The comments from the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin marked an intensification of Beijing’s condemnation of the surging bloodshed in Syria, but Liu stopped short of directly condemning the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

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