Washington: The US on Tuesday expelled Syria's top diplomat in Washington, joining a host of western nations including Britain and Germany who have taken similar steps against the country following last week's Houla killings.
"In response to the May 25 massacre in the village of Houla, on Tuesday the United States informed the Syrian Charge d'Affaires Zuheir Jabbour of his expulsion from the United States," the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland said.
The Syrian diplomat has 72 hours to leave the country, she said adding that the US took this action in coordination with partner countries including Australia, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Germany.
"United Nations observers confirmed the deaths of more than 90 people, including at least 30 children under the age of 10, after the vicious assault involving tanks and artillery ?-weapons that only the regime possesses. There are also reports that many families were summarily executed in their homes by regime forces," Nuland said.
Holding the Syrian government responsible for this "slaughter of innocent lives", Nuland said this massacre is "the most unambiguous indictment" to date of the Syrian government's flagrant violations of its UN Security Council obligations under Resolutions 2042 and 2043 along with the regime's ongoing threat to peace and security.
The United States, Nuland said encourage all countries to condemn the actions of the Asad regime through similar action.
First Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 21:25