Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Houla Massacre

It has now been fourteen months since the revolt against the Assad regime in Syria. As the world watches, the country continues to drown in blood-soaked violence.

The latest horrific incident was the massacre of 108 civilians, many of them children, in the town of Houla, northwest of the central city of Homs, carried out by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Activists told of tanks, mortars and machine guns firing on civilians after anti-government protests on Friday, followed by Assad’s militia – known as the Shabiha – launching the mass-killings.

Rupert Colville, for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “It looks like entire families were shot in their houses.” More frighteningly, more than 30 of those slaughtered were children under the age of 10. Some of the pictures showed children who appear to have been executed with close-range shots to the head.

Malaysia continues to turn a blind eye to this and other atrocities but countries like France, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Australia have already expelled Syrian diplomatic envoys. But will this do anything to stop further killings? How many more innocents will have to die before the world decides to take action?

In the 1990s, the world failed to prevent genocide in Rwanda. We said never again. We shall soon know if the world genuinely meant it. Why am I very sceptical?

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