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Syrian defector 'Caesar' meets US officials

The defected Syrian military photographer responsible for leaking troves of photographs indicating large-scale torture and abuse by the Syrian government met with senior Obama administration officials Friday. Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan met with the defector, codenamed "Caesar." They thanked him "for his personal and moral courage in bearing witness to the Assad regime's atrocities, which represent an assault on human dignity," according to Deputy National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan. Early in 2014, the defector leaked more than 55,000 pictures of approximately 11,000 people systematically tortured to death by the Syrian regime.  "Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Sullivan told Caesar that he has done a service not only to the Syrian people, but to the world, in bringing this evidence to light," Meehan added.   She said that the U.S. is "deeply disturbed" that China and Russia’s veto to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court prevents efforts to hold the perpetrators accountable at the international court. "Nevertheless, the United States will continue working through other avenues with our international partners to pursue accountability for the perpetrators of these crimes against the Syrian people," Meehan said. Caesar is currently visiting Washington where he has met with lawmakers, and toured the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

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