German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expelled the Syrian ambassador on Tuesday and urged the U.N. Security Council to consider again its stance on Syria. "The Syrian regime is responsible for the terrible actions in Houla. Whoever there or elsewhere, violates the U.N. security council resolution by using heavy weapons against their own people must bear serious diplomatic and political consequences," Westerwelle said in a statement.
Canada said that the three remaining Syrian diplomats in Ottawa would be expelled. "Canada and our partners are speaking loudly, with one voice, in saying these Syrian representatives are not welcome in our countries while their masters in Damascus continue to perpetrate their heinous and murderous acts," oreign Minister John Baird said said in a separate news release.
Assad's government late on Monday denied having anything to do with the deaths, or even having heavy weapons in the area.
Western countries that have called for Assad to step down were hoping that the Houla killings would tip global opinion, notably that of Syria's main protector Russia, towards more effective action against Damascus.
Annan drew up a peace plan backed by the United Nations and the Arab League to steer a way out of the 14-month-old uprising against Assad. But six weeks after it was agreed by Damascus and the rebels, the bloodshed has barely slowed.