WASHINGTON – The White House issued a sharp condemnation of Russia on Sunday, accusing Kremlin-led forces of killing innocent civilians in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad’s ongoing civil war.
“After repeatedly delaying the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2401, which demanded a 30-day cessation of hostilities across Syria, Russia has gone on to ignore its terms and to kill innocent civilians under the false auspices of counterterrorism operations,” the statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday.
“This is the same combination of lies and indiscriminate force that Russia and the Syrian regime used to isolate and destroy Aleppo in 2016, where thousands of civilians were killed, ” it said.
Russia stalled a United Nations vote on a ceasefire Feb. 23 that would have given a reprieve to citizens of eastern Ghouta, which has been under siege in the ongoing civil war since 2013.
The White House called on Assad, along with his backers in Russia and Iran, to halt the military campaign and allow “unfettered delivery of humanitarian aid to the nearly 400,000 innocent civilians in critical need.”
The statement comes after Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke over the phone Sunday about crisis in Eastern Ghouta.
“They agreed it was a humanitarian catastrophe, and that the overwhelming responsibility for the heart-breaking human suffering lay with the Syrian regime and Russia, as the regime’s main backer,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
“They agreed that Russia and others with influence over the Syrian regime must act now to cease their campaign of violence and to protect civilians.”