FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today the United States co-hosted with France and the United Kingdom a UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting on the Syria Commission of Inquiry (COI). After six years of impartial and independent investigations, their reports highlight the devastating toll of the Assad regime’s brutality against the Syrian people. It is clear that the Syrian regime has been responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths and damage to civilian infrastructure in eastern Aleppo and throughout Syria during the conflict. Because of the Commission’s important work, the world will never be able to forget how the Syrian regime – with help from Russia, Iran, and Hizballah – exploited “terrorism” as an excuse to commit countless atrocities. The Commission’s reports of the siege of hundreds of thousands of civilians in eastern Aleppo and attacks elsewhere on civilian targets like schools full of children and humanitarian convoys meant to deliver life-saving aid to the Syrian people are indelible.
The United States firmly believes that a political process can work, and we fully support UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura as he looks toward the next round of talks in Geneva. The United States is willing to work with Russia to bring an end to this conflict, but reports from the Commission of Inquiry demonstrate how crucial it is for Moscow to exercise its influence over Bashar al-Assad to bring an end to his regime’s barbarous attacks on its own people.