U.S. expels Syrian charge d’affaires over Houla massacre

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The United States announced Tuesday it is expelling Syria’s charge d’affaires in response to the May 25 massacre in the village of Houla that killed more than 90 people, including 30 children under 10 years old.

Zuheir Jabbour, currently the most senior Syrian diplomat in Washington, has 72 hours to leave the country, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. Jabbour was informed of the expulsion order Tuesday.

“We hold the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives,” Nuland said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

“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,” Nuland said. “There are also reports that many families were summarily executed in their homes by regime forces.”

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