Washington: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has committed “war crimes” with Russian support against his own people, the US said today, as it put the Assad regime as well as Russia “on notice” following massive civilian casualties in rebel strongholds of the strife-torn country.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said the US is monitoring the situation in Syria, where more than 400 civilians were killed in the last five days in the regime-led air strikes and bombardments in rebel controlled areas.
Bashar al-Assad has already committed war crimes. He has already gassed his own people with sarin, he has already committed unthinkable acts, Shah told reporters at a news conference, when asked if President Donald Trump believes that Assad is committing “war crimes”.
Assad has been committing war crimes with support of the Russians, he claimed. We don’t want that to continue, he said, adding the US is monitoring the situation.
(We) don’t want to get ahead of anything that may or may not be announced on that front. But you know the Assad regime and Russia’s actions on this front are on notice, he said when asked what more can Trump do to stop the killings.
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told a separate news conference that more than 400 civilians were “horrifically” killed by the Syrian regime.
As we all know, they are backed by not only Russia but also Iran. It is a good reminder that Russia bears a unique responsibility for what is taking place there. Without Russia backing Syria, the devastation and the deaths would certainly not be occurring, she said.
During a UN Security Council meeting on Syria in New York, the US urged the 15-member body to move forward with this ceasefire and humanitarian resolution immediately. It expressed concern over the situation in Eastern Ghouta, where fresh bombardments by Syrian government yesterday killed dozens.
The pictures and videos are everywhere. Screaming parents digging through rubble to find their children. Doctors working frantically with no medicine and no equipment in underground hospitals to save whoever they can,” said Kelley Currie, US Representative for Economic and Social Affairs.
“These are not terrorists showing up in these makeshift emergency rooms. These are civilians. They are ordinary people under attack by a barbaric Assad regime that is bent on leaving eastern Ghouta levelled to the ground, with no regard for the 400,000 men, women, and children who live there, she added. PTI