The United States stands with the Syrian people and members of the international community in calling for an immediate end to the Assad regime’s ongoing and egregious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. We condemn the recent airstrikes and artillery bombardment on Qusayr, which have reportedly killed more than 183 civilians. These innocent men, women, and children are the latest victims among the 80,000 or more who have been killed since the regime began their brutal campaign more than two years ago.
The assault on Qusayr is the latest regime attempt to use sectarian-driven war to divide the Syrian people. We are deeply concerned about the risks of increasing sectarian violence from all sides. We condemn Hizballah’s direct role in the hostilities, a role which inflames regional tensions, escalates violence inside Syria, and incites instability in Lebanon. The regime has an opportunity to calm these tensions now by ending its assault.
There can be no lasting peace in Syria without justice for the horrific crimes committed in Qusayr and elsewhere. There is no place in a future Syria for Assad or members of his regime who have ordered or committed atrocities. As the international community works to support a political settlement, based on the principles outlined in the Geneva Communiqué, we also must also support the groundwork for accountability.
The Assad regime and its supporters who commit crimes against the Syrian people should know that the world is watching, and they will be held accountable.