The US said Thursday that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has not done anything to restore his legitimacy and rejected restoring ties with his government “anytime soon.” 

“Syria is a humanitarian catastrophe. The Syrian people have suffered for far too long under the brutal rule of Bashar al-Assad,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

Price said Assad remains in power despite a decade of civil war that has devastated the country and urged the Syrian government to “change its behavior.”

“He has been at the center of the suffering of the Syrian people. We continue to believe that we need to find a durable political settlement,” he said, adding: “There is no question of the US normalizing relations with his government anytime soon.”

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Syrian civil war, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that Syria has fallen off the front pages after a decade of conflict, and “yet, the situation remains a living nightmare.”

Price said the US will seek to support the humanitarian plight of the Syrian people and a political settlement that would end the Syrian people’s suffering.

Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

According to UN estimates, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced.

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