The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has been closely monitoring the current conflict in Syria since its outbreak in April 2011. The conflict has already cost more than 100,000 lives, displaced millions, and involved numerous atrocities and crimes against humanity.
In June 2012, the Museum expressed grave concern about the escalating violence in Syria and warned that the increasingly sectarian nature of that violence could, if unchecked, lead to genocide. In March 2013, the Museum issued a report by Ambassador Frederic C. Hof analyzing that sectarian nature, and concluded that, the longer the conflict lasts, the greater is the danger of widespread sectarian mass atrocities and even genocide in certain areas.
Ambassador Hof also wrote a Washington Post op-ed (external link) in which he discusses the tough policy decisions the US faces regarding engagement and support for the Syrian opposition.
In June 2013, the White House confirmed that Syria’s Assad regime had used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent Sarin, in several small-scale attacks, and in August 2013, confirmed that chemical weapons had again been used, this time on the outskirts of Damascus, resulting in widespread death and injury.