Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
March 16, 2020
The below is attributable to Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus:
Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with Director of the Syria Civil Defense Raed Saleh today to discuss ways to mitigate the dire humanitarian crisis precipitated by attacks on civilian areas in Idlib, Syria by the Assad regime, Russia, Iran, and Hizballah forces. Deputy Secretary Biegun commended the Syria Civil Defense and its courageous team of first responders, known as the White Helmets, for providing life-saving assistance to the victims of aerial bombardments and mortar attacks on homes, schools, and hospitals perpetrated by the Assad regime and its allies. The Deputy Secretary and Director agreed that the international community must continue to ensure the protection of civilians, religious and ethnic minorities, and other innocent victims of the Assad regime’s brutality. The Deputy Secretary reaffirmed U.S. support for a nationwide ceasefire and political solution to end the Syrian conflict pursuant to UNSCR 2254.