“The United States strongly condemns the Assad regime’s intense air and artillery strikes on the Syrian town of Qusair.”
The campaign of violence the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is waging against the Syrian people, taking the lives of more than 80,000, continues.
In recent days, fighting has raged in the city Qusair, near the Lebanese border, where government troops, supported by the Iranian-backed Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, have furiously attacked the city, which had been under the control of the opposition. At least 90 people have reportedly been killed in the fighting in Quasair.
“The United States strongly condemns the Assad regime’s intense air and artillery strikes on the Syrian town of Qusair,” said U.S. State Department Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell at a press briefing:
“The Assad regime deliberately provokes sectarian tensions through its assaults, which we saw recently in its Sunni massacres in the towns of Bayda and Banias. We reject the regime’s use of sectarian-driven war to divide the Syrian people. The Assad regime and its supporters who continue to commit crimes against the Syrian people should know that the world is watching, and they will be identified and held accountable.”
Mr. Ventrell also condemned “Hezbollah’s direct intervention and assault on Qusair where its fighters are playing a significant role in the regime’s offensive. Hezbollah’s occupation of villages along the Lebanese-Syrian border and its support for the regime and pro-Assad militias exacerbate and inflame regional sectarian tensions and perpetuate the regime’s campaign of terror against the Syrian people.”
Reports are that dozens of Hezbollah fighters have been killed in Syria in recent days. Although Hezbollah’s presence in Syria has been observed since the beginning of the conflict, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah publicly confirmed last month that Hezbollah would continue supporting the Assad regime and that it would not permit the Assad regime to fall.
The United States has imposed a series of sanctions targeting the Syrian regime for its human rights abuses, most recently against the Syrian Ministers of Defense, Industry, Health and Justice; an airline responsible for transporting weaponry to the Assad regime; and a privately-owned television station for providing services to the Syrian government, including airing forced confessions. The United States has also designated Hassan Nasrallah, a pro-Assad militia supported by Hezbollah, and two Lebanese exchange houses for laundering drug money to support Hezbollah.
Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement, “We are determined to target activity contributing to the abhorrent humanitarian situation in Syria.”