The atrocities committed in the Syrian village of Houla on Friday -- when dozens of men, women, and children were killed, and hundreds more were wounded -- were condemned in the strongest possible terms by the United Nations Security Council on Sunday.
Casualty estimates currently put the number of those killed at 108 and those wounded at 300, according to BBC News.
Among the dead are 34 children, a shocking development even in the eyes of those who have been following the news of the Syrian Civil War between President Bashar al-Assad's government and the regime's opponents since its origin in more or less peaceful Arab Spring protests about 14 months ago.
However, the latest massacre's perpetrators appear to be in little or no danger of being called to account for their actions any time soon, based on the U.N. Security Council's nonbinding press statement on the matter.
According to the statement, [T]he Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women, and children and the wounding of hundreds more in the village of [Houla], near Homs, in attacks that involved a series of Government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighborhood.
The U.N. body also condemned the killing of civilians by shooting at close range and by severe physical abuse.
Such outrageous use of force against [the] civilian population constitutes a violation of applicable international law and of the commitments of the Syrian Government under United Nations Security Council resolutions 2042 (2012) and 2043 (2012) to cease violence in all its forms, including the cessation of use of heavy weapons in population centers, the Security Council said.
Those responsible for acts of violence must be held accountable, the Security Council said. The council added it was requesting that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria continue to investigate these attacks and report the findings to the Security Council.
The body also demanded the Syrian government immediately cease its use of heavy weapons in population centers.
Under the U.N. Charter, the Security Council bears the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The body has 15 members: five permanent and 10 nonpermanent. The five permanent members are China, France, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S.
On issues related to Syria, Russia typically is more favorably disposed toward the country's ruling regime than it is toward its opponents.
Given the magnitude and nature of the massacre in Houla on Friday, however, even Russia agreed the Security Council should address the matter -- although there are those who believe the body's behavior on Sunday may be fairly characterized as all talk and no action.