Middle East

Death In Damascus

Car bombs exploded in Damascus, Syria on February 21 reportedly killing dozens and injuring hundreds.

Vehicles burn after an explosion in central Damascus. (February 21, 2013)
Vehicles burn after an explosion in central Damascus. (February 21, 2013)
Even in a country which has seen horrific violence over the past two years – violence which has led to the deaths of more than 70,000 people -- the series of car bombs which exploded in Damascus, Syria on February 21 were a shocking example of indiscriminate brutality.


Dozens of people were reportedly killed and hundreds, mostly civilians, were injured. The blasts occurred near the downtown headquarters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s governing party and close to the Russian embassy, as well as a mosque and a school. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the main Syrian umbrella group for those opposed to President Assad, denounced the car bombings.  “Any acts targeting civilians with murder or human rights violations are criminal acts that must be condemned, regardless of the perpetrator or the justification,” said the National Coalition.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland also strongly condemned the attacks, and said that “the U.S. has been conveying to the opposition, both [the] political opposition and in our contacts with fighters, that indiscriminate violence against civilians, political reprisals don’t help anybody and don’t help the cause of gaining the population’s support for a peaceful, democratic transition in Syria. . . .This kind of violence has got to stop.”

Ms. Nuland noted, however, that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “has it in his power to stop this today:”

“He has it in his power to stop this anytime he wants. The opposition has put forward a legitimate proposal for talks if he will allow that to go forward, and it is the regime that…has been conducting aerial attacks on his people, using helicopters, bombarding neighborhoods and towns for more than a year now. They bear the preponderance of responsibility for the violence in Syria.”

The United States has been working with allies to accelerate a political transition in the country. The U.S. has been providing non-lethal assistance to the opposition and is the largest single contributor to relief efforts for the Syrian people, millions of whom have been displaced inside the country, and hundreds of thousands of whom have fled across the border.

“We are working with our allies to put pressure on the Assad regime to bring about a future that the Syrian people deserve,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, “and that is a future without President Assad.”
This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Reflecting the Views of the U.S. Government as Broadcast on The Voice of America

View from Washington

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
View From Washington: Human Rights in Iran will not be Ignoredi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
09/04/2015
President Obama and Secretary Kerry have made clear that the deal with Iran is aimed at preventing a grave security threat -- a nuclear-armed Iran. But the United States remains fully aware of Iran’s deplorable human rights record and its destabilizing activities.
Video

Video View From Washington: Human Rights in Iran will not be Ignored

President Obama and Secretary Kerry have made clear that the deal with Iran is aimed at preventing a grave security threat -- a nuclear-armed Iran. But the United States remains fully aware of Iran’s deplorable human rights record and its destabilizing activities.
Video

Video View From Washington: Death Sentence for Mohammad Taheri

Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said that sentencing a citizen to death for exercising his rights of freedom of religion and expression represents an extreme violation of universally recognized rights enshrined in international law.
Video

Video View From Washington: No Room for Assad in Syria’s Future

Because of Bashar al-Assad’s continued brutality against the Syrian people which fueled the rise of Daesh and other extremists groups, the Syrian President has lost all legitimacy, said Secretary of State John Kerry.
Video

Video View From Washington: A Stark Choice Concerning Iran Nuclear Deal

President Barack Obama says the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is “the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated,” permanently prohibiting Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon by verifiably blocking all Iran’s pathways to a bomb.
Video

Video View From Washington: Little Resistance to Human Trafficking in Iran

At the release of the Trafficking in Persons report, Secretary of State John Kerry said all governments need to strengthen and enforce laws that will turn “today’s traffickers into tomorrow’s prisoners.” Unfortunately little such effort is being made in Iran.