By: Lauren Saccone
Mere days after the massacre of 108 civilians, 13 bodies have been found bound and shot in Syria. Nearly half of the bodies discovered were those of children. In response to this latest upsurge in violence, Turkey and Japan have expelled Syrian diplomats. They join the ranks of the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, and several other nations who have also expelled diplomats to protest the slaughter in Syria.
The massacre in Houla, the central Homs province, has resulted in international outcry of human rights violations. The troops of President Bashar Assad are accused of slaughtering their own citizens. The Syrian government has denied that its troops are involved in the violence, blaming the killings on "armed terrorists."
The White House has publicly expressed "absolute disgust" over the brutal violence in Syria. While most nations agree, there is still no international consensus on how to respond to President Assad’s crimes against his own people. Russia and China have refused to entertain talks of arming anti-Assad rebels, a method several nations have suggested.
Other nations believe sanctions against Syria are the solution. Of course, there is the concern that putting sanctions in place may take too long to offer any benefit to the people living under President Assad’s regime.
On Wednesday, the United Nations will meet for a special session wherein they will hear the peace plan drafted by the special envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan. Although the plan calls for an immediate cease-fire and sending aid to civilians in Syria, it does not have unanimous support. Its critics point out that the Annan peace plan was supposed to bring an end to the bloodshed over a month ago, a goal it has obviously failed to achieve. Additionally, there are concerns that the peace plan would undermine the International Criminal Court should it attempt to bring charges against President Assad.
The United Nations Human Rights Council is scheduled to meet on Friday in Gevena to formulate a plan to help the people of Syria and put a stop to the increasing violence.
[Pic via Flickr - Freedom House]