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Qubayr massacre

June 10, 2012

A joint media release with Prime Minister Gillard on June 8, 2012:

Australia has joined international condemnation of the massacre on June 6 of more than 70 people in Qubayr in Syria and of the Assad regime’s refusal to permit UN observers into the area.

The killing of more than 70 people in Qubayr was a barbaric act that targeted civilians in a village reportedly surrounded by Syrian Government forces.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also indicated that UN observers came under fire from pro-regime forces when seeking to reach the village.

The Syrian Government has denied responsibility for the massacre. But we know this is a regime that has no credibility, having shown blatant disregard for the safety of its people and for the will of the international community.

Australia remains committed to a unified international response on Syria, and continues to work towards the prospect of action by the UN Security Council.

Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Gary Quinlan made an intervention in the General Assembly session on Syria condemning the Qubayr incident and the Assad regime’s repeated failures.

The Foreign Minister will raise developments in Syria in talks next Tuesday (June 12) with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia is a key member of the Arab League which has been a leader in the international community’s response to the crisis in Syria.

The Australian Government is also working on plans to expand Australia’s humanitarian contribution in the region, with an estimated 80,000 Syrian refugees now in camps and other locations in neighbouring states.

Australia implements robust autonomous Syria sanctions and is considering further measures against the Assad regime.

3 Comments
  1. June 10, 2012 10:10 pm

    The Syrian government is either incapable of fulfilling its responsibility to protect citizens or it is refusing to protect its citizens. Either way, this continued failure confirms that the international community has a right to advance discussions in the Security Council beyond current 6 point plan under Annan.

  2. James O'Neill permalink
    June 11, 2012 12:41 pm

    Bob, One might have thought that after the Houla massacre you might have been a little more cautious in attributing responsibility for massacres in Syria. Australia, in common with several western nations were very quick to blame the Assad regime for the Houla atrocity. Diplomats were expelled which is rather extraordinary given the then uncertainty about the facts. A case of presumed guilty and to hell with the evidence.
    Can I respectfully suggest that you ask your department to obtain a translation of an article published in today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung entitled Abermals Massaker in Syrien by Herman von Rainer. You will be aware that FAZ is a hugely respected and responsible newspaper.
    Mr von Rainer’s article clearly establishes that the Houla massacre was carried out by the so-called rebel forces, not the Assad regime. An uncomfortable fact perhaps, but consistent with other evidence that the rebels are being trained by the Americans and financed by Qater and the Saudis.
    Your department should bew providing you with better advice than is apparent from your public statements.

  3. patrick connor permalink
    June 13, 2012 12:17 am

    Bob : I personally , have parted company with our ‘Great & Powerful Friends’ , & think that Malcolm Fraser got it exactly right in his Gough Whitlam Oration recently .
    I am asking that Australia think more independently , & not follow US foreign policy indiscriminately , as it does now .

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