Syrian tanks have continued to shell the city of Hama on the third day of an armoured assault to crush protests against President Bashar al-Assad.
With the crackdown unrelenting, the international community is still struggling to present a united stance against the repression.
The EU has tightened sanctions but Italy has unilaterally recalled its ambassador from Syria. Italian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maurizio Massari said “We, this morning, decided to recall our ambassador and also invited other EU countries to do the same and we do hope that other EU member states will follow soon.”
The protests in Hama are some of the largest against Assad in the five month-uprising. Residents says at least 140 people have been killed in three days.
Meanwhile the UN is still negotiating a statement condemning the violence. But Russia, a long-standing ally of Syria, has now indicated it will not oppose a resolution.