White House Condemns Assad Over Aleppo Attacks
The White House on Monday condemned the Syrian government over its recent air raids on Aleppo that have left more than 300 dead, reports The Hill.
"The United States condemns the ongoing air assault by Syrian government forces on civilians, including the indiscriminate use of SCUD missiles and barrel bombs in and around Aleppo over the last week," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
Carney said that under international humanitarian law, Syria was obligated to protect civilians during the bloody civil war.
He also said that under a deal brokered earlier this year, in which Syria agreed to turn over its chemical weapons in exchange for averting a U.S. military strike, the government had promised aid humanitarian efforts.
"The Syrian government must fulfill its November commitment to do more to facilitate the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance, so that millions of Syrian men, women, and children have access to urgently needed services," Carney said, according to The Hill.
The increased air attacks in Aleppo are seen as an effort by President Bashar Al-Assad’s loyalists to overwhelm rebel forces ahead of a January peace conference in Geneva.
The independent American condemnation of Assad’s raids on Aleppo came several days after the U.S. failed to pass a similar condemnation at the United Nations Security Council.
Russia used its veto power to block a UN Security Council statement on Syria which would have condemned the Syrian government's increasing military offensive on the city of Aleppo.
Russia, a close ally of Assad’s, has used its power as a permanent member of the Security Council to veto at least three other resolutions which sought to increase pressure on the Syrian leader.
The Syrian conflict has left over 100,000 dead and created over 2 million refugees. Geneva II peace talks seeking to resolve the conflict will start January 22.