Statement from Ambassador Ford About the Murder of Father François Mourad

U.S. Embassy Damascus, Syria

We are appalled by reports that extremist rebels killed Father François Mourad earlier this week when they looted a monastery in Idlib province. This unprovoked violence against civilians is completely unacceptable, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

The Syrian Revolution against Asad’s tyranny and brutality is a struggle for dignity and freedom – not about butchering civilians and prisoners. The Syrian people have a long history of tolerance and co-existence, and anyone who would murder civilians and prisoners to win popular Syrian support against the Asad regime will fail to do so.

We call on all Syrians to protect and respect the rights of all civilians, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or religion. No matter how depraved the Asad regime is, committing atrocities under the guise of fighting is unjustifiable. We have been absolutely clear that those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law and serious human rights abuses must be held accountable.

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