New York

13 July 2012

Secretary-General's statement on Syria

I am outraged by reports of horrific mass killings yesterday in the Syrian village of Treimseh in Hama.  Many civilians, including children and those fleeing shelling, were among those reportedly killed.

I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the indiscriminate use of heavy artillery and shelling of populated areas, including by firing from helicopters.   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.

I have spoken today with Major General Mood.  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. The Syrian Government must open the areas to UNSMIS access.

The Syrian Government must halt this bloodshed and recognize that armed confrontation is the wrong course and must end now.  I also urge the armed opposition to abide by its commitments under the six-point plan.

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.  Members of the Security Council must build on the Action Group communiqué and follow through on their promises to act accordingly.  The Joint Special Envoy and I wrote to the Security Council today to reiterate our 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.  There must be united, sustained and effective pressure now.

Those responsible for these abuses must be brought to justice.  Independent, transparent and impartial investigation into these killings, and other abuses committed in Syria in the past 17 months, are of the utmost urgency.

The six-point plan and the Action Group communiqué are the foundation for reaching a settlement of the conflict in Syria.  Violence must stop.  A peaceful Syrian-led transition that truly meets the legitimate aspiration of the Syrian people must be reached.