Six key players in the Arab world, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, announced Tuesday that they have recalled their ambassadors from Syria.
The six, which are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), also expelled Syrian envoys stationed in their capitals.
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The move was declared following the escalating violence in Syria.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, current head of the council, announces that the GCC states have decided to withdraw all their ambassadors from Syria and also demand that all ambassadors of the Syrian regime in its lands leave immediately," a GCC statement said.
The GCC also protested the "mass slaughter of civilians in Syria." The UN's Human Right Commission says about 5,500 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began, last March.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that at least 400 of those killed were children.
The West's efforts to pass a UN Security Council resolution against Syria have so far failed, as the latest draft was vetoed by China and Russia on Friday.
Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, who is currently visiting Damascus, accused the West of being "hysterical" over the situation in Syria.
Reuters contributed to this report
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