Ban: Serious doubts on Assad's commitment to plan

UN chief Ban condemns indiscriminate use of heavy artillery, shelling of populated areas by Syrian gov't.

By REUTERS
July 14, 2012 13:58
2 minute read.
Smoke rises over Syria's Homs [file]

Smoke rises over Syria's Homs 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS / Handout)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday reports of a massacre by Syrian government forces cast "serious doubts" on Syrian President Bashar Assad's commitment to a UN-backed peace plan while the United States expressed outrage at a massacre.

"I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the indiscriminate use of heavy artillery and shelling of populated areas, including by firing from helicopters," Ban said in a statement.

"They also cast serious doubts on President Assad's recent expression of commitment to the six-point plan in his meeting with the Joint Special Envoy," he said, referring to Assad's meeting with international envoy Kofi Annan in Damascus on Monday.

Earlier Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed outrage over reports of the Syrian government assault in the rebellious Hama region and urged the UN Security Council to make clear to Damascus that there would be consequences.

Accounts of the attack on the village of Taramseh, including the use of artillery, tanks and helicopters, provide "indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent civilians," she said.



"Through these repeated efforts, through these repeated acts of violence against the Syrian people, President Assad has lost legitimacy to lead. It is time for him to go," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

"We are hopeful that we'll see continued unity on the international scale to press Assad to leave power."


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