Syria Topper from Department of State Briefing - May 20, 2013

Press Statement
Washington, DC
May 20, 2013

Acting Deputy Spokesperson Ventrell (May 20): ". . . [T]he United States strongly condemns the Assad regime’s intense air and artillery strikes this weekend on the Syrian town of Qusair, along the Lebanese border, where more than 90 people were reportedly killed. The Assad regime deliberately provoked sectarian tensions through its assaults, which we saw recently in Sunni massacres in the towns of Bayada and Banias. We reject the regime’s use of sectarian-driver 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.

We also condemn Hezbollah’s direct intervention in the 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. We reject Hezbollah’s efforts to escalate violence inside Syria and incite instability in Lebanon. We continue to fully support Lebanon’s stated policy of disassociation from the Syrian crisis, and urge all parties in the region to act with restraint and respect for Lebanon’s stability and security." Full Text»