US: Satellite images show Assad's 'ruthlessness' - Israel News, Ynetnews

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One of the photos Photo: US State Department
One of the photos Photo: US State Department

US: Satellite images show Assad's 'ruthlessness'

Series of declassified images show ' horrible kinds of weaponry' regime in Damascus deploying against Syrian people

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 02.11.12, 20:57 / Israel News

WASHINGTON – The US State Department has released a series of satellite images it says show the kinds of weaponry Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is using against his own people.


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"Declassified US national imagery (shows the) destruction of Homs, very gruesome pictures showing lines of tanks, showing fires, showing the kind of thing that you really only see if you have a major military attacking in a civilian area," spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.



Image released by US State Department


"Our intent here is to obviously expose the ruthlessness or the brutality of this regime and its overwhelming predominant military advantage and the horrible kinds of weaponry that it's deploying against its people," she added.



Image released by US State Department


The images are meant to exert more pressure on Russia and China after they vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for Assad to step down due to the violent crackdown on anti-regime activists.



Image released by US State Department


The first of nine images released by the State Department was posted on the Facebook page of the US Embassy in Damascus. It was accompanied by a note from Ambassador Robert Ford, who said leaving Syria, after the US government suspended work at the embassy, was "without exaggeration ... the most emotionally taxing day of my career as a Foreign Service Officer."



Image released by US State Department


Ford added that blaming the protesters for any of the violence is wrong because "the Syrian government consistently initiates the attacks on civilian areas, and it is using its heaviest weapons."


The State Department said some of the images show "artillery operationally deployed" toward different Syrian cities.


The Washington Post on Saturday quoted US officials as saying that the Obama administration and its allies see few, if any, viable options to end the carnage in Syria.


The newspaper quoted the officials as saying that with no appetite for a military intervention, a flagging Arab League initiative and the failed effort to win a UN Security Council resolution, the current situation could continue for months.


Plans for an international 'Friends of Syria' conference and stepped-up humanitarian aid are seen as unlikely to change the grim calculus on the ground, the officials told the daily.



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