U.S. State Department condemns Syrian attacks against own people

The U.S. State Department condemned attacks by Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime against his own people on Thursday and Friday which killed a number of Syrians.

Patrick Ventrell, the department's acting deputy spokesperson, said on Monday that the Assad regime launched rockets into several residential areas of Barzeh last week. Ventrell said the department condemned the attacks.

"We do have information that the Assad regime turned its weapons against its own citizens by launching a barrage of rockets into the Barzeh district of Damascus," Ventrell said. "And so according to our contacts, several rockets hit residential areas of Barzeh Thursday night and Friday morning, killing a number of people. We strongly condemn these attacks."

Ventrell said the department would still need to gather further information about an additional attack that occurred on Monday in one of the major squares of Damascus. The attack killed approximately 20 people and wounded dozens of additional Syrians. Ventrell shied away from referring to the attack as a suicide bombing or terrorist attack.

"We're looking into this for more information," Ventrell said. "We have consistently in the past condemned events that target civilians and perpetrate this kind of violence. And let me add to that and just say there clearly are some elements - like we've been very clear about al-Nusrah and some extremists elements - who perpetrate a vision and perpetration violence that is directly at odds with the well-being of the Syrian people. And so we roundly condemn that. But again, on the specific event, other than the media reports, I don't have additional information."