Washington Rejects Assad's Claims That U.S. to Blame for Truce Collapse

The Syrian president, on his part, hasn’t owned up to targeting hospitals and refugee camps or to using barrel bombs and chlorine gas against civilians, White House says.

President Bashar Assad speaks to AP at the presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, on September 21, 2016.Syrian Presidency via AP

The White House is pushing back on Syrian President Bashar Assad's claim that the U.S. responsible for the collapse of the cease-fire.

Assad said in an Associated Press interview that the U.S. intentionally struck Syrian troops last week. But White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the U.S. has been responsible by acknowledging publicly that the strike was likely an error by the U.S.-led coalition.

Earnest said that in contrast, Assad hasn't "owned up" to targeting hospitals and refugee camps or to using barrel bombs and chlorine gas against civilians, adding that Assad has "contributed greatly to violence, chaos and bloodshed" in Syria.

Earnest also faulted Russia for its role in failing to ensure Syria lives up to its commitments under the cease-fire.

"That creaking sound you hear is Russia's international credibility taking an additional hit," he quipped.