The US State Department renewed the need for efforts to properly investigate and to hold accountable those who have committed atrocities against the Syrian people.
Spokesman for the US State Department John Kirby on Monday said that the US supports UN and Syrian-led efforts to document human violations and abuses, reaffirming support for the mandate of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria via the UN Human Rights Council and for the Human Rights Council special session on Aleppo on October 21 which called for a special investigation into the strikes in Aleppo and for naming the perpetrators.
“We continue to co-sponsor the UN General Assembly Third Committee and their resolution on the human rights situation in Syria. We’ve also supported the establishment of the OPCW-UN’s Joint Investigative Mechanism, which is seeking to identify those involved in certain chemical weapons attacks in Syria,” Kirby added.
The Assad regime and Russian forces have been waging a ferocious assault on eastern Aleppo since November 15, with rights groups saying that hundreds of civilians, many of whom are children, have been killed or injured. Medical sources in Aleppo said that all hospitals in the besieged parts of the city have been put out of service after being directly hit by airstrikes.
The United States Congress on November 15 overwhelmingly voted for sanctions on the Assad regime as well as their Iranian backers. The sanctions received support from both sides of the House.
US lawmakers have accused the Assad regime of war crimes with almost half a million people killed since the Syrian civil war broke out after Assad attempted to quash pro-democracy protests.
In addition to economic sanctions, the bill grants the State Department powers to assist in the collection of evidence for future war crime trials against the Assad regime and its backers.
At least 412 civilians have been killed by the Assad regime and Russian attacks on Aleppo and its countryside over the past week, a third of them children, according to figures compiled by the Syrian Coalition’s media office. The office said that the Assad regime and Russian air forces have committed no fewer than 30 massacre in the besieged districts of Aleppo, home to around 300,000 people. At least 12 massacres were also the result of airstrikes in rural Aleppo claiming the lives of dozens of civilians.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Tuesday called on Russia and the Assad regime to halt their attacks on Aleppo after meeting the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura in Berlin.
De Mistura on Tuesday said he was worried that the Assad regime could launch a new offensive to take over eastern Aleppo “in a brutal aggressive way” before US President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated on Jan 20, 2017. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)