U.S. says Assad regime must be held accountable for human right violations

Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime should allow humanitarian aid to the city of Homs and be held responsible for violations of human rights law, a U.S. representative to the U.N. said on Tuesday.

Rosemary DiCarlo, the acting U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., made the remarks on Tuesday at a U.N. Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East. DiCarlo spoke about the Middle East peace, Lebanon and the ongoing conflict in Syria. She said the U.S. still believes that the only sustainable outcome to the matter is through a political solution and a transitional governing body with full executive powers.

DiCarlo said the Assad regime is actively working to stop the possibility of peace.

"Despite professed support for negotiations, the Assad regime is in fact working to thwart any possibility of a peaceful solution," DiCarlo said. "In collusion with Iranian and Hezbollah-backed fighters and advisers, the Assad regime has waged war against the Syrian people. Further, the United States assesses the regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition, multiple times in the last year, in violation of international norms."

DiCarlo renewed the call upon the Assad regime to let the U.N. chemical weapons investigation team into Syria to look into all credible allegations of chemical weapons.

She also condemned the Assad regime's refusal to allow humanitarian aid into the city of Homs for most of the past year.

"We reiterate that there is no justification for the Assad regime preventing humanitarian access to Homs and call on it to allow humanitarian organizations safe access to evacuate the wounded and provide medical treatment," DiCarlo said. "And we reaffirm that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law must be held accountable."

DiCarlo praised Syria's neighbors, including Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, for supporting Syrian refugees in a time of great need.