Syria condemns 'baseless accusations' about role in massacre

A spokesman for Syria's Foreign Ministry has said that an investigation is underway into the attack in Houla on Friday that left more than 100 people dead. Jihad Makdissi denied that Syrian forces were to blame and said that "no tanks or artillery entered al-Houla town".

The state news agency SANA quotes him as saying:

We've talked to the Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the authorities concerned to put us in the picture of what happened in Houla ... Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has spoken to the UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, and informed him of the details of what happened and the official investigation underway.

We regret that foreign ministers of some countries have rushed to level baseless accusations in such forums as the UN Security Council and the EU, based on statements by opposition figures or biased media. The savage pattern of killing ... is alien to the morals of the valiant Syrian Arab army.

– Jihad Makdissi, Syrian Foreign Ministry