The U.S. State Department on Wednesday denounced Syrian President Bashar Assad's new Instagram account, saying that it was "nothing but a despicable PR stunt."

"It's repulsive that the Assad regime would use this to gloss over the brutality and suffering it's causing," said State Department spokeswoman Maria Harf.

The photos on Instagram, the photo-sharing social media network, show Assad and his wife Asma visiting hospitals, waving at jubilant crowds and talking with Syrian citizens.

People who want to know what's really happening in Syria should "look at unfiltered photos of what's actually happening on the ground," Harf said.

The photos on Instagram are not indicative of the "horrific situation on the ground that he's causing for his own people," she added.

The Syrian leader has been waging a civil war with opposition groups for two years, killing an estimated 100,000 people and creating millions of refugees.