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: Nora Colerine from: UK
July 26, 2012 11:16 PM
Another "MASSACRE..." !!!! hey, its Islam... what the hell... let them kill each other
In Response

by: dwq from: boston
July 29, 2012 10:23 AM
Took 400 years for catholics and protestants to stop killing eachother. From parents to children, then lessons where passed until almost all of them were affected and the Western institution of "free religion" was born. Sunnis and Shiites still have way to go. When they figure out how to like eachother, they will also figure out how to like us.

by: Bryan from: San Jose
July 26, 2012 10:54 PM
You can stop the mass murder President Obama . . you could have saved 20,000 lives .. how many more Mr. President .. ?

by: Carlos .. from: California ..
July 26, 2012 10:51 PM
Right .. US State Dept and White House .. report on the massacres .. but do nothing for 425 days to stop it .. you cowards .. not worthy to be called leaders .. you are despicable President Obama .. a worthless leader .. I have been to Aleppo .. never met a kinder people .. shameful cowardice America ..

by: Sar Chasm from: World
July 26, 2012 10:43 PM
All segments of the Syrian population must coalesce around the protection of Aleppo. Syria, of Syrians, by Syrians, for Syrians.

by: Steve from: Sydney
July 26, 2012 10:27 PM
FUNNY - THE US DID NOT MIND CARRYING OUT MASSACRES IN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN OVER MANY YEARS?

by: Josephus from: Sydney, Australia
July 26, 2012 10:15 PM
Syria is a dictatorship. Now that there is a revolution, the anarchists and revolutioneries are killing all those who are not like them. This has led to the massacher of christian men and boys. Is this what Barack Obama wants ? Is this why the US is supporting revolutions in Arab countries ? This ethnic and religious cleansing is happening all over the world and yet the US is doing nothing to defend christians, The US has defended muslims in former Yugoslavia. Is Obama a true defender of all faiths ?

by: talbot
July 26, 2012 10:03 PM
What a load of rubbish. The government is not preparing to slaughter anyone, except the foreign funded terrorists that are killing people in the streets. Is this supposed to be news? Anyone with half a brain and access to Google can find out what is really happening. US gov wants to defeat Syria, which leads to Iran, which equates to domination of that region. Big surprise.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 27, 2012 2:45 PM
That's a load of rubbish Talbot, as you can see in the videos the tanks and planes bombing buildings that families live in indiscriminately, just like Assads daddy did, wipe out entire villages, women and children included. It has all to do with human rights Talbot, and defending innocent people, anyone with half a brain and access to google can find out that... Get with the program.
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