More news from Syria: the British Foreign Secretary William Hague is currently in Moscow and held a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart. The current plan appears to be to convince the Russians to ease Assad out while keeping the regime in place, Yemen style. I'm unsure as to where the Russian's stand but they donít seem to be as firmly ebbing Assad as they were. Here are some quotes from the Russian Foreign Secretary "There is no doubt that the government used artillery and tanks and this has been reported by UN observers who have visited the scene," "We do not support the Syrian government. We support the plan of Kofi Annan."
Also here is the UN Security Council statement that was issued yesterday, it was agreed unanimously by the entire council.
"Security Council Press Statement on Attacks in Syria
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Agshin Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan):
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of El-Houleh, near Homs, in attacks that involved a series of Government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighbourhood. The members of the Security Council also condemned the killing of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse. The members of the Security Council extended their profound sympathies and sincere condolences to the families of the victims, and underscored their grave concern about the situation of civilians in Syria.
Such outrageous use of force against civilian population constitutes a violation of applicable international law and of the commitments of the Syrian Government under United Nations Security Council resolutions 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012) to cease violence in all its forms, including the cessation of use of heavy weapons in population centres. The members of the Security Council reiterated that all violence in all its forms by all parties must cease. Those responsible for acts of violence must be held accountable. The members of the Security Council requested the Secretary-General, with the involvement of UNSMIS [United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria], to continue to investigate these attacks and report the findings to the Security Council.
The members of the Security Council demanded that the Government of Syria immediately cease the use of heavy weapons in population centres and immediately pull back its troops and its heavy weapons from in and around population centres and return them to their barracks.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support to the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy for the implementation of his six-point plan in its entirety and requested him to convey in the clearest terms to the Syrian parties, and in particular the Syrian Government, the demands of the Security Council."