US warns Syrian regime, Russia of accountability for 'crimes'

US warns Syrian regime, Russia of accountability for 'crimes'
The US embassy in Syria has warned the Syrian regime and Russia that they will be held "accountable" for human rights violations in the Syrian conflict, linking the issue to Russia's invasion of Ukraine
3 min read
14 March, 2022
The US embassy in Syria has been closed since 2012 [Getty]

The Twitter account of the US Embassy in Syria has issued a warning to the Syrian regime and Russia on Sunday, connecting atrocities committed in the Syrian conflict to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The tweet linked Russia's invasion of its western neighbour to its support for Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria's conflict, which began in 2011 following the brutal suppression of peaceful protests.

"For years Russia supported a military campaign in Syria that led to the death of hundreds of thousands, destruction of cities & displacement of millions," the tweet said.

"Reports indicate Russia may be using similar tactics in Ukraine. Where there are crimes there must be accountability."

The US Embassy in Syria closed on February 2012, but still maintains a website and Twitter account.

It has recently been using the hashtag #MarchToAccountability to tell the regime of President Bashar al-Assad that it will be held to account for human rights abuses.

At least 500,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced by the Syrian conflict, mostly as a result of bombardment of civilian areas by the regime and its ally, Russia.

The regime and Russia have deliberately targeted hospitals and other civilian facilities, while thousands of people have been killed in regime chemical weapons attacks.

Last week, Russia bombed a hospital in Mariupol in eastern Ukraine, sparking worldwide outrage and comparisons to previous bombings of hospitals in Syria.

There were also fears Russia may use chemical weapons in Ukraine.

In a previous tweet on Friday, the US Embassy in Syria said that it "supports Syrian human rights defenders and their international partners in documenting violations and abuses and promoting accountability for those responsible for atrocities".

Syrian opposition activists however, have previously criticised the US for failing to respond to calls to protect civilians in Syria. They have also pointed out that the US and its allies were quick to impose robust sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine while failing to take similar measures with regards to Moscow's intervention in Syria.