Reports say about 280 UN observers are currently monitoring the Syrian ceasefire, which was part of the six-point peace plan brokered by Kofi Annan in March.
On May 25, deadly clashes broke out between Syrian forces and armed groups in Houla, located in the central province of Homs and about 32 kilometers (20 miles) northwest of the provincial capital city of Homs.
Head of the UN observer mission in Syria Major General Robert Mood said that UN observers in Houla estimate 108 people were killed, including 49 children and 34 women.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Hesham Tillawi, host of Current Issues TV & Radio, from Lafayette, to further discuss the issue. The following is a transcription of the interview.
The Syrian Ambassador to the UN has accused the delegations of certain UN Security Council member states of distorting the version of events presented by Gen Mood. Are you at all surprised?
Well, of course I’m not surprised, and I’m not surprised that the Syrian government will be blamed for this because from the beginning when the news media around the world…the Arab media with no exceptions, almost, they all have accused the massacre and accused the Syrian government of committing that massacre even though the massacre was just taken place when the government was being accused.
We know for a fact that many, many Syrian cities and towns are completely in the hands of terrorist military groups and you don’t see that in Western media. You don’t see military groups.
You hear only of civilians being killed by their own government but you don’t see the hundreds of tons of weapons and men that are brought from Libya and other [places]…to actually fight in Syria just like they have done in Libya; that, you don’t see on major networks or even don’t see it on almost 90 percent of the media out there around the world. That is the problem.
The problem is you don’t see the terrorists. You don’t see the armed gangs that are all over Syria now.
I’m sure that when you have tanks shelling a city, you will have children go into, probably, the basement, etc, etc. You don’t want to have that many children. The Syrian army has shelled many cities and you do not see this sort of massacre taken place. Women would take their children and hide them inside a basement.
But what happened … it reminds us of what was going on in Iraq, actually, when we have these terrorist groups killing civilians just to blame it on others. We’ve seen this before.
The UN Security Council is mum on the issue of foreign backing of armed groups in Syria despite reaffirming their "strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria." What do you make of the paradox there?
It’s very simple…It’s not what they do. What they say, the statement they put out is for consumption in their own countries and abroad, and also to have these Arab countries lined up with the West against Syria to talk about the sovereignty of Syria, etc, etc.
The United Nations Security Council, especially those countries like France, England and the United States, they are looking for anything to blame the Syrian government so they can get another UN Security Council resolution to go and hit more on Syria…
Unfortunately for Syria, the country that everybody talks about, its integrity and its sovereignty, you have the Turks on the north and you have Saudi Arabia on the south; it’s surrounded. Basically, Israel is to the south. So, Syria is facing a lot of [parties] not just the terrorists inside the country.
They’re facing terrorists all around the world. There are facing terrorists from the United Nations Security Council. You’ve seen people who’ve actually committed massacres in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, these are the same people who are crying now over the children of Syria, that they themselves contributed to their killings, they themselves contributed to the armed gangs and to the weapons that are entering Syria right now.
The Syrian government cannot actually catch every weapon that is smuggled to the country. They probably catch one percent, and 99 percent of weapons and people are going in to Syria. This is the truth that the media including the Arab media, they don’t show. They just show what they blame. Everything is going on the Syrian army.
Basha Ja'fari also said that the recent massacre and its aftermath is being used to further internationalize the situation in Syria and encourage more foreign involvement. Will that work though?
Well, of course it will work. That’s exactly what they want. It will work even if it’s a lie, even if the Syrian government did not commit the massacre, even if those children were actually killed by the terrorist groups and they lined them up, how could you line up all the [children] together?
That’s exactly what it’s going to do with them; it’s going to bring about a change in the way the world is looking at Syria and, unfortunately, they’re going to get what they want because the truth is not what goes on the ground; the truth is what they are able to convince people with by showing them pictures of these children, by showing them what’s going on and blaming it on the Syrian government. Before you know it, everybody will be asking for the head of the Syrian government.