The Syrian Chargé d'Affaires, Mr Jawdat Ali, has been called in today to receive Australia's message of condemnation for the atrocities perpetrated against civilians in the village of Haoula, including the massacre of an estimated 92 people.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, said it was made clear to Mr Ali that Australia expected the Syrian Government to cease military operations and abide by the ceasefire brokered by Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan.
"This massacre of civilians in Haoula is a hideous and brutal crime," Senator Carr said.
"In its wake, the onus is on the Syrian Government to demonstrate a commitment to peace and immediately withdraw from military action.
"The Syrian Chargé was asked to convey a clear message to Damascus - that Australians are appalled by this massacre and we will pursue a unified international response to hold those responsible to account."
Senator Carr said an international response could include a referral to the International Criminal Court, and UN sanctions such as an arms embargo and financial and travel restrictions against identified individuals or entities.
Australia, the European Union and the United States have already imposed sanctions on Syria. Australia's autonomous measures include travel and financial restrictions on 106 individuals and 28 entities, and an arms embargo.
Senator Carr said Australia would also consider additional sanctions and further humanitarian assistance.
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