May 30, 2012 / 8:58 PM / 6 years ago

Syrian diplomat in the U.S. defects over Houla killings

(Reuters) - A senior Syrian diplomat in the United States defected on Wednesday, telling NPR his decision was motivated by the killings of more than 100 civilians in the Syrian town of Houla over the weekend.

“You get to a point where your silence or your inaction becomes ethically and morally unacceptable,” Hazem Chehabi, Syria’s Honorary Consul General in California, told NPR’s Morning Edition.

“The recent barbaric massacre that took place in the town of Houla, for me it was a tipping point and was a point beyond which one could not justify remaining silent and/or remaining in a position that may be perceived, correctly or incorrectly, as having ties to the Syrian government,” he added, according to a transcript of the remarks.

Reporting by Mary Slosson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston

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