The United States, Australia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Canada have joined together, expelling Syrian diplomats in the wake of a massacre in the Syrian village of Houla.
A U.N. report states that 108 people were killed in Houla on May 25. Many victims, including infants and children, were shot at close range.
The U.N. has said that government tanks were involved in the attacks.
The U.S. government has given Syrian Charge d’Affaires Zuheir Jabbour 72 hours to leave the country.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: “We hold the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives. This massacre is the most unambiguous indictment to date of the Syrian government’s flagrant violations of its UN Security Council obligations … along with the regime’s ongoing threat to peace and security.”
The Syrian government denies involvement, blaming terrorists for the massacre.
Newly appointed French President Francois Hollande plans to tell Ambassador Lamia Shakkour that she must leave. Radwan Loutfi, the ambassador to Germany, has 72 hours to leave Germany. The U.K. is expelling three Syrian diplomats. Jawdat Ali, the most senior Syrian diplomat in Australia, has 72 hours to leave. And the ambassadors to Spain have three days to leave Spain.
The U.N. hopes to send a message to Syria.
“This is the most effective way we’ve got of sending a message of revulsion of what has happened in Syria,” said Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has a history of stifling protestors and rebels. Since March 2011, Syrian forces have killed about 10,000 Syrians.
In June 2011, a 57-page report was issued by Human Rights Watch, detailing government abuses against citizens.
“Syrian security forces have been killing and torturing their own people with complete impunity,” the report stated.