The United States Government condemns in the strongest possible terms the series of rocket attacks against Aleppo, most recently the attack using Scud missiles on an eastern district of the city late on Friday, February 22, that killed several dozen people. The Friday attack follows the assault on Aleppo of Tuesday, February 19, that destroyed several city blocks in the Jabal Badr district of Aleppo and injured hundreds of innocent civilians. These attacks, as well as other atrocities such as the strike against a field hospital earlier in the week, are only the latest demonstrations of the Syrian regime's ruthlessness and its lack of compassion for the Syrian people it claims to represent.
The Assad regime has no legitimacy and remains in power only through brute force. From the city of Deir Zour in the far eastern part of Syria to the mountains of Jebel Akrad near the Mediterranean, Syrians across the country have demanded that Assad, and the architects of his violent campaign, step aside and allow a Syrian-led political transition to begin so that the rights of all Syrians can be respected, and the country can begin to rebuild. The United States sees no indication that the brave Syrian people fighting against this aggression will accept these regime leaders, with the blood of so many Syrians on their hands, as part of a transition governing authority.
The United States has contributed $385 million to help Syrian refugees and citizens inside Syria who have been displaced by regime violence. As the regime strikes out against more and more civilians, we have increased our humanitarian aid in close coordination with Syrian activists, and we have urged other countries to do so as well. We also have helped local administrative councils, provincial revolution councils and the local coordination committees organize themselves to play their vital role in the revolution. We look forward to meeting soon with the leadership of the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, the Syrian Opposition Coalition, to discuss how the United States and other friends of the Syrian people can do more to help the Syrian people achieve the political transition that they demand and that they deserve.