Obama condemns 'unspeakable assault' in Syria
Syrian anti-regime protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Al-Qsair, near the flashpoint city Homs, on Friday.
February 4th, 2012
10:46 AM ET

Obama condemns 'unspeakable assault' in Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday released a strongly worded condemnation of the government crackdown in Syria, calling on the U.N. Security Council to "stand against" the "relentless brutality" of the regime.

Following is the text of the statement released by the White House.

Thirty years after his father massacred tens of thousands of innocent Syrian men, women, and children in Hama, Bashar al-Assad has demonstrated a similar disdain for human life and dignity.  Yesterday the Syrian government murdered hundreds of Syrian citizens, including women and children, in Homs through shelling and other indiscriminate violence, and Syrian forces continue to prevent hundreds of injured civilians from seeking medical help.  These brutal killings take place at a time when so many Syrians are also marking a deeply meaningful day for their faith.  I strongly condemn the Syrian government's unspeakable assault against the people of Homs and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones.  Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now.  He must step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately.

The Syrian people demonstrated in large numbers across Syria yesterday to participate in peaceful protests commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Hama massacre.  They labeled the protests, "We are Sorry, Hama - Forgive Us."  We owe it to the victims of Hama and Homs to learn one lesson: that cruelty must be confronted for the sake of justice and human dignity.  Every government has the responsibility to protect its citizens, and any government that brutalizes and massacres its people does not deserve to govern.  The Syrian regime's policy of maintaining power by terrorizing its people only indicates its inherent weakness and inevitable collapse.  Assad has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community.
The international community must work to protect the Syrian people from this abhorrent brutality.  Earlier this week, our Arab partners called on UN Security Council members to take action to support a political solution to the crisis in Syria and stop Assad's "killing machine."  The Council now has an opportunity to stand against the Assad regime's relentless brutality and to demonstrate that it is a credible advocate for the universal rights that are written into the UN Charter.

We must work with the Syrian people toward building a brighter future for Syria.  A Syria without Assad could be a Syria in which all Syrians are subject to the rule of law and where minorities are able to exercise their legitimate rights and uphold their identities and traditions while acting as fully enfranchised citizens in a unified republic.  The United States and our international partners support the Syrian people in achieving their aspirations and will continue to assist the Syrian people toward that goal.  We will help because we stand for principles that include universal rights for all people and just political and economic reform.  The suffering citizens of Syria must know: we are with you, and the Assad regime must come to an end.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Syria
soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. Bob

    yep, russia and china just vetoed the syrian resolution... ha, ha...

    February 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Obama could single-handedly find the cure for cancer, and people would kvetch about him taking away jobs from oncologists…

    February 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. All-American

    How sad the communists are blind to the ignorance of brutality. Maybe it's because when they see Syria, it brings back memories of when they were starting out with their political ideals.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Rand

      Communists and the semi controlling gov't of Russia.....they can't allow the people to have the say in Syria...cause they see someday..this same sort of uprising occurring in their nation. It is all about self preservation for China and Russia.

      February 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Zach

    The U.S is the strongest military in the world, im sorry but if people need help we should be there to help them. I dont like Obama on a lot of issues, but his statement to Syria right on the dot.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nun Yo Bidness

      The US is not the strongest military in the world. It is the most expensive military in the world.

      February 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanSam

      It is absolutely the strongest military in the world.

      February 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Thanks, Zach.

      February 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. selbon

    YES you go,Republicans are Americas answer to Hitler,the fittest will survive,rich are weak,but the poor work for what they get,how ever small it may be and in a fight strength is more than physical .

    February 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. StraitTalk23

    It is said "You shall not kill". Those killing, those protecting them, and those celebrating on this forum and elsewhere, simply fail to learn history lessons. You do not get away with murder. May God bless the United States of America

    February 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 1rooster

    I am sure the conservatives here want the Assad administration to stay in power since they blindly oppose anything the Obama administration is for. Keep up the good work you imbeciles. History will judge you as nothing but a bunch of idiots.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tony

    I remember the massive aerial bombing of Gaza civilians (thousands killed) and the US behaving in exactly the same way as Russia/China, in order to support bloody Israel in the face of widespread world condemnation. You can't have it both ways, even if most Americans just have 5 day memories.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dan

    I think it will be hard for a lot of Americans to jump on this right a way. Our military has been pushed to it's limits for years with no breaks. Some will believe this is just another battle for the U.S. to fight when 2 others have not ended yet.
    As for Russia and China, how many times have they ever backed anything when it comes to the injustice as this is.
    They will not take care of there own so why would they try to stop it else where.
    As for America loosing it heart for others, they still give after millions of Americans have lost all that they own in the past fiew years. After may famlies have lost husbands and wives and there kids in battle over many years.
    It is so diconcerning that some one could say Americans have lost there heart from a few comments on here.

    February 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nastyhapboy

    Obama!!! Love you big brother!!!

    February 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BR

    Thank you for your comment. I agree with every word you say, and because of moronic responses to the President's stance, it's no wonder we've lost moral standing in the world. The name callers, et. al. need to visit outside the United States, which they clearly have not, to get a first-hand observation of the conversations about the state of American politics. Frankly, it's embarrassing, and equally embarrassing are my fellow Americans who would rather Obama lose than America win. NOT ONCE will they give him credit, including killing OBL. It's transparent and sad. And we give these people a vote. Imaging that!

    February 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fineart

    I can hardly wait for the uprising to start in Russia.I give it about six months to happen. Where will Putin run to? Do you think he will try to seek asylum in the US? Wouldn't that be funny?

    February 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Russia is qualitatively different than the Arab world. Don't count on the 'overthrow' frenzy to work the same way there...

      February 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. vikinglander

    Again, I'll remind everyone of the US-led sanctions in Iraq which nothing to harm Hussein but resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent IraqiI citizens. The US government is seen as talking out of both sides of it's mouth. If the middle East destabilizes, the U.S. risks it's access to oil. China and Russia need that oil and would fill the gap left by a U.S. absence. Russia will not give up it's only decent foothold in the Middle East, Syria.

    February 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jackola

    The Obama Administration is grossly mixed-up when it stated "where minorities are able to exercise their legitimate rights , etc." because in Syria it is the other way around. The Assad regime is actually the minority (Alawites), whereas the revolting masses are the majority Sunnites. Also, the Christian community (also a minority) are on the side of Assad. I don't dislike Obama but he is completely mixed up here.

    February 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @jackola: how is it that minorities hold on to power over there? iraq was the same way..

      seems to me, particularly in a more.. brutal.. society, the majority would be most likely to have power...

      February 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Fadi

    We will not wait you Obama to come and visit us, we do not have oil in Syria. We will make our destiny with our hands.
    Russia, and China shame on you. I swear to Allah will revenge from Alassa thugs very soon, Amen

    February 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
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