United Nations chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

Lucy Bush
February 22, 2018

The renewed offensive began at the weekend. About 1,200 people were injured.

Because it is the last major area near the Syrian capital that is still under rebel control. Ghouta, which is home to over 400,000 people, was unfortunately at the receiving end of the pro-regime rockets and barrel bombs. His statement comes amid concerns about escalating violence between Syrian government forces and rebel, as well as Islamist, factions operating in the area.

Guterres recalled that Eastern Ghouta has been designated as a de-escalation zone by Russia, Iran and Turkey and he reminded all parties "of their commitments in this regard". The most powerful are the ultraconservative Army of Islam and Failaq al-Rahman with a small presence of al-Qaida-linked fighters.

French president Emmanuel Macron has said France "vigorously" condemns the bombardment of the rebel-held area of eastern Ghouta in Syria.

Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP
Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP

Army of Islam official Mohammed Alloush and Nasr al-Hariri, who heads the committee that represents the Syrian opposition, described what is happening in eastern Ghouta as a new "Holocaust" committed by the government and its backers Iran and Russian Federation. They also deny using the inaccurate explosive barrel bombs dropped from helicopters whose use has been condemned by the United Nations.

A commander in the coalition fighting on behalf of Assad's government told the Reuters agency overnight that the bombing aims to prevent the rebels from targeting the eastern neighbourhoods of Damascus with mortars.

Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the government, said the bombing campaign "comes ahead of a vast operation on Ghouta, which may start on the ground at any moment".

Yes. The organisation has denounced the bombardment, which has struck hospitals and other civilian infrastructure.

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Diana Semaan, the charity's Syria researcher, said: "People have not only been suffering a cruel siege for the past six years, they are now trapped in a daily barrage of attacks that are deliberately killing and maiming them, and that constitute flagrant war crimes".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday expressed "deep sadness" over people living in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta.

The UN has called for a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered and the wounded to be evacuated.

Prime Minister Theresa May has called on President Bashar al Assad's regime and its ally Russian Federation "to ensure this violence stops and those people in need of help are given that help".

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The International Committee of the Red Cross is calling for restraint in Syria and access to the wounded after the deadly escalation in fighting in and around Damascus in recent days. This is madness and it has to stop.

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières says 13 hospitals have been hit and damaged or destroyed in the past three days.

"We are waiting [for] our turn to die".

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday called for a truce in Syria's eastern Ghouta district to facilitate evacuation of civilians and access to humanitarian aid in the rebel-held enclave.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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