#Syria expels diplomats, deploys chopper gunships as UN dithers

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According to this report from Reuters, the Syrian government on Wednesday 6 June 2012 expelled diplomats from 17 Western countries including the United States, Canada, France, the UK and Turkey; a gesture which reciprocates last week’s Syrian diplomat expulsions after the Houla massacre. Meanwhile, helicopter gunships are reported to be supporting Syrian Army troops as they continue to attack rebels, mainly in and around the town of Haffeh in Latakia’s coastal region.

One potential glimmer of hope comes from Syria finally agreeing yesterday to allow increased humanitarian aid into Syria. The United Nations refugee agency claims over 78,000 Syrians have fled to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Latest figures say over 500,000 have been displaced and up to a million people need urgent humanitarian aid. Turkey reports an increase in refugees entering the country from Syria, with 2,700 new arrivals in the first 5 days of June .

This news comes along with the appointment of former Agriculture minister Dr Riad Hijab as Prime Minister, tasked with creating a new government.

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