UN chief strongly condemns killings in Syria
New York: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday strongly condemned mass killings in the Syrian village of Treimseh in Hama, saying the violence is "a clear violation" of the six-point plan, Security Council resolutions and international law.
In a statement released here by his spokesman, Ban said he is "outraged" by reports of horrific mass killings in the Syrian village of Treimseh in Hama.
"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.
"These acts of violence are a clear violation of the six-point plan, Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043, and international law. They also cast serious doubts on President al-Assad's recent expression of commitment to the six-point plan in his meeting with the Joint Special Envoy."
Major General Robert Mood, the chief of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), confirmed on Friday in Damascus that there was a continuous fighting with the use of mechanized units and helicopters in Treimseh overnight Thursday.
Activists said over 200 people had been killed. Both the government and the opposition traded accusations for the carnage.
In a conversation with Mood earlier Friday, Ban was told that an UNSMIS team positioned outside the village was able to confirm shelling, helicopters in action and the presence of Syrian forces in government checkpoints near Treimseh.
"UNSMIS will continue its efforts to reach the site to verify the incident," he said, urging the Syrian government to open the areas to UNSMIS access.
Ban called on the Syrian government to "halt this bloodshed and recognise that armed confrontation is the wrong course and must end now." He also urged the armed opposition in the country to abide by its commitments under the six-point plan.
Meanwhile, Ban and UN-Arab League Joint Envoy Kofi Annan wrote to the Security Council on Friday to reiterate their urgent call on the Council to insist on the implementation of its decisions and to send a strong message to all that there will be serious consequences for continued non-compliance.
"I call upon all member states to take collective and decisive action to immediately and fully stop the tragedy unfolding in Syria. Inaction becomes a license for further massacres," Ban said in the statement.
"Members of the Security Council must build on the Action Group communiqué and follow through on their promises to act accordingly."
"There must be united, sustained and effective pressure now," he noted.
The 15-member Security Council is due to decide the future of the UNSMIS by July 20 when its initial 90-day mandate expires. The 300-strong mission is authorised to oversee cease of all violence and monitor the implementation of the six-point plan. The mission has suspended its most of activities owing to an intensification of armed violence across the country since June 16.
Ban stressed that Annan's six-point plan and the Action Group communiqué agreed by a meeting in Geneva on June 30 are the foundation for reaching a settlement of the conflict in Syria.
"A peaceful Syrian-led transition that truly meets the legitimate aspiration of the Syrian people must be reached," he said.
The UN chief also called for independent, transparent and impartial investigation into these killings as well as other abuses committed in Syria in the past 17 months.