As Syrian and Russian planes continued their horrific bombing of eastern Aleppo, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power excoriated the Syrian regime and its Russian ally for their relentless war on the Syrian people.
In an address at the UN Security Council, Ambassador Power said, “The reality is that the Assad regime and Russia are continuing their ‘starve, get bombed, or surrender strategy’ in eastern Aleppo to see if any will surrender to the Assad regime -– a regime that, as both we and the Syrian people know, has systematically tortured those who have found themselves under its custodial authority.”
Ambassador Power listed by name some of those involved since 2011 in killing and injuring civilians with Syrian government military assaults on cities and residential areas. “The United States will not let those who have commanded units involved in these actions hide anonymously behind the façade of the Assad regime,” she said. She named Major General Adib Salameh, Brigadier General Adnan Aboud Hilweh, Major General Jasdat Salbi Mawas, Colonel Suhail Hassan and Major General Tahir Hamid Khalil.
Ambassador Power also took note of the suffering and torture that take place in detention centers throughout Syria, and promised that the individuals who run these centers will one day be held accountable for their crimes. She named several of these individuals as well: Major General Jamil Hassan, Brigadier General Abdul Salam Farj Mahmoud, Brigadier General Ibrahim Ma’la, Colonel Qusai Mihoub, Brigadier General Salha Hamad, Brigadier General Sh’afiz Masa, Major General Rafiq Shihadeh, and Hafiz Makhlouf.
Ambassador Power pointed out that non-state terrorist groups in Syria have also committed heinous crimes against civilians, and she condemned such actions in the strongest terms, noting that “ISIL’s atrocities are in a category unto themselves, which is why the United States leads a 67-member coalition to defeat this terrorist organization.”
But as President Barack Obama recently said, it is Assad “who has decided that destroying his country, turning it to rubble, and seeing its population scattered or killed was worth it for him to cling to power.”
Ambassador Power declared all United Nations Member States “must be clear that the Assad regime and their allies are responsible for this destruction…Attacks on civilians fuel terrorism, they don’t defeat terrorism. Perpetrators must know that like their ignominious predecessors through history, they will face judgment for their crimes.”