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Friday, April 3, 2015

STATE DEPARTMENT STATEMENT ON RECENT VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS IN SYRIA

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Recent Violence Against Civilians in Syria
Press Statement
Marie Harf
Acting Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 3, 2015

The United States strongly condemns attacks this week against Syrian civilians, who continue to suffer from both the Asad regime and violent extremist groups. Fighting between regime forces and an alliance of Islamist-oriented forces, including the al-Qa’ida-affiliated al-Nusra Front, and airstrikes by the Asad regime on Idlib city reportedly killed more than 100 civilians, significantly damaged hospitals, and displaced an estimated 30,000 people. Activists reported that ISIL massacred over 40 people in Mabuja in Hama province – reportedly Ismailis and Alawites, including women and children. Regime bombings of the town killed additional inhabitants and inflicted further damage.

We also condemn and are deeply concerned by ISIL’s attacks this week against the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus. Since advancing into Yarmouk on April 1, ISIL – with the support of al-Nusra Front – has violently clashed with other armed groups, putting the remaining 18,000 civilians in the area at severe risk. Yarmouk’s inhabitants have already suffered from the regime’s violence and have lived under siege for nearly two years, deprived of desperately needed essentials, including food and medical relief.

These tragic events illustrate the terrible toll the war has taken on Syrian civilians and reaffirm the need for a political solution to end the conflict and alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people. The United States reiterates that all forces must cease unlawful attacks on civilians and comply with international law. Those who are responsible for these and other atrocities against the civilian population must be held accountable.