U.S. says Assad regime bears most of responsibility for Syrian violence

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad bears the overwhelming majority of responsibility for the deadly violence in Syria, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Wednesday during her daily press briefing. When asked about a comment purportedly made by Assad about there being no chance for a political solution unless all aid to the opposition is stopped, Psaki said the Assad regime took a deceptive stance on peace during the conflict.

"The Assad regime has deceptively, over the course of time, tried to portray itself as the protector of Syria from terrorists and extremists from the beginning of this conflict," Psaki said. "That's patently false. They bear overwhelming responsibility for the violence that has taken the lives of more than 100,000 people and that has displaced millions of people inside Syria and outside the country."

Psaki said the U.S. is focused on making progress toward a political solution. She said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the process during their meeting on Tuesday.

"As has been the case for months, the Russians are the point of contact with the regime on getting them to a conference and reiterating to them the importance of why a political solution is the right step," Psaki said. "Those efforts are ongoing."