US 'horrified' over deadly attacks in Syria's Raqqa amid reports of fresh bombings

#SyriaWar

At least 100 people are known to have died in attacks by Assad's forces - military insiders say the President is trying to join the anti-IS coalition

Residents of Raqqa seal the bodies of the dead in bags - activists say over 200 people may have been killed (Twitter / @hothif86)
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Friday 13 February 2015 5:30 UTC
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The US State Department has said it is “horrified” by Tuesday’s attacks on the Syrian town of Raqqa by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Amid condemnations of the previous bombings, activists on the ground in the town reported that government forces had launched at least four fresh attacks on Thursday morning.

Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered said that fourth strike killed most members of the Abdel Aziz family when it hit their house next door to the engineering faculty of the city's university.

 

Translation: The streets of Raqqa city are completely empty of residents, who fear [strikes from] the planes. Ambulances can be heard in the town.

The bombings earlier this week, which hit at least nine sites in the town on Tuesday morning including a popular market and a post office, are now known to have killed upwards of 100 people, the majority of them civilians.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a press conference in Washington that the US had "consistently condemned the [Assad] regime's violence directed against civilians and its ongoing human rights abuses and violations of international law."

"We are horrified by the reports that the Assad regime's airstrikes yesterday in Raqa, Syria killed dozens of civilians and demolished residential areas," Psaki said.  

Psaki told reporters that the US remains "committed to supporting the Syrian opposition and working towards a political solution that stops the violence and leads to a future of freedom and dignity for all Syrians."

The US State Department said Assad's government had no value for human life. 

"The Assad regime's continued slaughter of Syrian civilians further exposes its callous disregard for human life." 

"We've been clear that Assad long ago lost all legitimacy to govern and that the Syrian regime must be held responsible for its brutality and atrocities against the Syrian people."  

Psaki accused Assad loyalists of "murder, hostage-taking, enforced disappearances, torture, rape, sexual violence and the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs." 

But the US itself faced criticism on Wednesday amid accusations that it was seeking to justify the attacks, after the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilisation Operations said civilians had been “caught in the crossfire” of bombs targeting Islamic State.