News / Middle East

US: Syrian Forces Preparing for a 'Massacre' in Aleppo

A damaged Syrian military tank is seen at the border town of Azaz, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.A damaged Syrian military tank is seen at the border town of Azaz, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
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A damaged Syrian military tank is seen at the border town of Azaz, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
A damaged Syrian military tank is seen at the border town of Azaz, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, Syria, July 24, 2012.
STATE DEPARTMENT — The United States on Thursday warned that Syrian government forces appear to be preparing to massacre civilians in the city of Aleppo.  Opposition activists say they expect the government to soon launch a major offensive on rebel-held areas across the northern city.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the Obama administration has "grave concerns" about the use of tanks and fighter jets in the densely-populated city near the Turkish border.

"This is the concern, that we will see a massacre in Aleppo, and that's what the regime appears to be lining up for," said Nuland.

Opposition activists quote sources close to Syrian security forces as saying the government is amassing troops on the southern outskirts of the city, which already has seen helicopter and tank attacks against rebels in the past six days of fighting.

Watch related video of government violence in Aleppo and Hama
Related video of government violence in Aleppo and Hamai
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July 26, 2012 3:22 PM
Related video of government violence in Aleppo and Hama

Nuland said thousands of people are fleeing the government "onslaught" on the commercial capital.

"This is another desperate attempt by a regime that is going down to try to maintain control, and we are greatly concerned about what they are capable of in Aleppo," she said.

Asked what the international community can do to stop the violence, Nuland again blamed Russia and China for vetoing tougher United Nations action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"The U.N. Security Council has been checkmated in this circumstance, which makes it all the more important, as we have always said we have a two-track policy. We want to work in the U.N. But if not, we will work with those countries who want to support the Syrian opposition in seeing a new day," said Nuland.

For the United States, that support remains non-lethal. Nuland said the Obama administration believes that arming Assad's opponents would only lead to more violence.

At a time when more than 100 countries in the so-called "Friends of the Syrian People" group are trying to move toward political transition, Nuland said Iran is taking an "extremely dangerous" position in continuing to supply weapons to Damascus.

"This is further to the unconscionable actions of the Iranian government that has been supporting the Assad regime all the way through this conflict, and even as the violence escalates, continues to provide material support, training," she said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is calling for a further extension of the U.N. observer mission in Syria, offering to contribute 30 Russian observers. Nuland said that if the situation in Syria does not improve, the United States believes U.N. observers should be withdrawn.

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by: friend of the Syiran from: Japan
July 27, 2012 3:18 AM
The rebel force is growing faster than expected,but the main obstacle for the total victory is that they can not rely thier fate on the outside intervention.The main tactics is to maintain their combat force and material and decrease the enemy's force and material,including the persons,weapon,food,equipment and other supply.They need not hold one or two big cities with great loss.They can carry out guerilla warfare and harresment combat,so that the government force loss can be accerelated.If the government force attack one city,the rebel can just maintain some snipers to harress.The main force can take another city without or with little goverment force.And if possible,the small goup of government force should be wiped put totally by more rebel force,that is worthwhile.Time is not question,the dictator regime can be pulled down this year or before next summer.

by: Anonymous
July 27, 2012 3:00 AM
Here we go again Assad, killing more innocent people, and wiping out more Syrian cities. When will you ever learn? You are trying to hold on to the only thing you have left, which is nothing. All you can do is "Try" and use your army to kill everyone. Most of your major military members have fled because they know you are psychotic and don't have a clue how to run a country or care for your very own people. Trust me, whatever you do now will fail eventually, and there is more and more likely a chance the FSA is going to capture you. I'd suggest you save your own life now while you can and hop on the next plane to Moscow. I am sure with the millions you've looted you can afford a private plane from Moscow to come pick you up. You are doomed as a leader of Syria, and that's just a tough part of History for you. Don't get any more blood on your hands, you've got enough on them already.

by: Anonymous
July 27, 2012 2:57 AM
Hey Lavrov, Medvedev and Putin, you best get your ships out of the Syrian Port soon. Your stupid decisions cost you a port, Syrian people don't want you there, get lost. Time to pack up your ships and find another criminal to back in another country. The people of Syria have risen and they don't like you, and all 3 of you already know why. You are soon to be considered an "occupier" if you don't leave the ports in Syria. See what your stupid decisions cost you???

by: Nolan from: China
July 27, 2012 1:26 AM
It is a joke for Ms. Newland.
All of the world knew that because Bashar al-Assad regime do not be controlled by American administration. So they support the rebels like as terrorist to defy the legal goverment.
This results the blood of the whole Syria. What is the human being right? it is not occured in USA. No any American bloods for the conflict. My God!
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 27, 2012 2:43 PM
Legal Government Nolan? So torture and killing is legal? It is a regime, not a legal government, a legal government abides by human rights, and does not inflict atrocities or genocide. Nice try...

by: Nolan from: China
July 27, 2012 1:13 AM
As a legal goverment Syrian have the right to fight with the rebels and beat them. it is not about your busyness.
It is so evil for american govermant always to support other country's rebels to oppose the legal goverments and results to blood. Only because the legal goverments do not obey American will.

by: Nik Schiffmann from: USA
July 27, 2012 12:22 AM
Victoria Nuland of the State Department has "grave concerns." Talk about a double entendre. Could the United States be acting any more impotent at this point?

Oh, that's right, it's an election year. Once our Messiah is re-elected, He will be able to take care of all of Syria's problems.

by: Tariq Syed from: USA
July 27, 2012 12:19 AM
While the situation in Syria is deplorable but what is more deplorable is the US silence over the massacres of thousands of Rohingya Muslims by the Burmese forces.

Shame on US leaders for their pick and choose on violence against civilians only because Syrians are Israeli enemies and the US just got friendly with Burma, this is a sickening posture taken by the US, the silence is deafening.

Is there no US Senator or Congressman with decency to speak up for the thousands of dead Muslims shown on TV in Burma?

by: Gregg from: Castle Rock, Co
July 27, 2012 12:17 AM
Let's arm terrorist groups in Syria by proxy using Arab countries.
Let's blame the Syrian Government for citizens that will be killed.
Let's sit back, watch , and relax .
When can I have my good country back?

by: Robeft E from: CA
July 27, 2012 12:05 AM
Maybe Nuland should go help

by: chort from: ATL
July 26, 2012 11:23 PM
Mr. Stearns,
You can't have it both ways. Either they are civilians or they are rebels.
In either case, it is none of our (USA) business.
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