The United Nations Human Rights Council was preparing on Friday, June 1, to call for an international inquiry into the massacre of more than 100 Syrian civilians at Houla, challenging the assertion by Syrian authorities that it was the work of opposition gunmen, The New York Times
reported. The United States, Turkey and Qatar were among members calling for a special session on Syria in an attempt to increase international pressure on President Bashar Assad as intense discussions continued between members of the U.N. Security Council on how to salvage the cease-fire plan negotiated by special envoy Kofi Annan. Russia, Assad’s key ally, and China have resisted calls in the Security Council for tougher sanctions against Syria. The meetings coincided with reports of 11 factory workers executed in the town of Qusair, the third mass killing reported in a week.