UN observers at massacre site as Clinton urges Assad to leave
UN observers from on Thursday visited the village of al-Kabir in the Syrian province of Hama, where some 90 civillians were massacred. Earlier, opposition sources reported the killing of 87 people in the province of Hama by pro-regime forces.
The Syrian government for its part said it was not involved in the carnage. In addition it said the scale of the tragedy was extremely exaggerated by the opposition, saying only 9 people and not 87 have become victims of the events in the villages of al-Kabir and Maazarif.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to transfer power and leave the country. Clinton made this statement at a press conference held jointly with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the sidelines of the Global Forum against Terrorism in Istanbul.
Violence in Syria is "simply unacceptable," Clinton said, accusing Assad of murdering.
Clinton said the U.S. will continue to raise the political and economic pressure on the Syrian government. "We will intensify our efforts to support the Syrian people, given the urgency of the situation," she said.
She also said the foreign ministers of several Western and Arab countries held an informal meeting in Istanbul on Wednesday evening and discussed further actions concerning Syria, including more support for the Syrian people and the coordination of a transition process towards an effective and credible "post-Assad Syria."
"We discussed a number of measures that we intend to take together," she said, before proposing three principles: the Syrian government must implement all the points included in the initiative of envoy Kofi Annan, Assad must transfer power, and an interim government and representative must be established by negotiations.
"We are adamant in our principle and we believe we must keep the faith and justice to the desperate Syrian people," she added.