The Free Syrian Army announced on Saturday that it will stop
implementing Annan's plan if the U.N. Security Council does not adopt an immediate solution to protect civilians.
A spokesman for the United
Nations' envoy to Syria says international monitors arrived in Houla where the Syrian Observatory say 114 people were killed by government troops.
UN leader Ban Ki-moon and UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan on Saturday described the massacre as an "appalling and brutal" breach of international law.
The UAE called for an emergency Arab League meeting
to discuss the Houla massacre.
In turn, the GCC condemned the massacre and
confirmed that the Gulf States are following up with “deep concern” the regrettable developments
A Syrian artillery barrage killed more than 100 people, including dozens
of children, in the worst violence since the start of a U.N. peace plan to
staunch the flow of blood from Syria's uprising, activists said on Saturday.
German foreign minister says he was “shocked” by the
death of dozens of civilians in Syria’s Houla.
The White House says it is horrified by the brutal attack in Syria.
National Security Council spokeswoman Erin Pelton said Saturday that the attack serves as a "vile testament to an illegitimate regime" of President Bashar Assad. The head of the U.N. observer team said the assault on Houla, a group of villages northwest of the besieged city of Homs, killed more than 60 adults and at least 32 children under the age of 10.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the attack on Houla, saying that "with these new crimes, this murderous regime pushes Syria further into horror and threatens regional stability."
In turn, Major General Robert Mood warned
that violence in Syria could lead the country into a “civil war”.
Syrian state television aired
some of the footage disseminated by activists, calling the bodies victims of a
massacre committed by "terrorist" gangs.
It also showed video of bodies
with what looked like gunshot wounds to the head, sprawled on bloodstained
A British-based opposition
group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said residents of Houla were
fleeing in fear of more shelling.
It said one person was killed
in the northern town of Saraqeb when security forces opened fire on a protest
against the killing. Activists distributed footage appearing to show similar
protests in Aleppo, the largest city in the north.
A member of the fragmented
exile group that says it speaks for Syria's political opposition said Assad's
forces had killed "entire families" in Houla in addition to the
"The Syrian National
Council (SNC) urges the U.N. Security Council to call for an emergency meeting
... and to determine the responsibility of the United Nations in the face of
such mass killings," SNC spokeswoman Bassma Kodmani said.
Opposition activists said
Syrian forces had opened fire with artillery on Friday after skirmishing with
insurgents in Houla, a cluster of villages north of the city of Homs, itself
battered by shelling.
The state news agency SANA
said the observers had visited Houla on Saturday, but did not elaborate. A
spokeswoman for the monitoring mission did not respond to calls.
Syria calls the revolt a
"terrorist" conspiracy run from abroad, a veiled reference to Sunni
Muslim Gulf powers that want to see weapons provided to an insurgency led by
Syria's majority Sunnis against Assad, a member of the minority Alawite sect.