The local council in the town of Arbeen in eastern Ghouta condemned the silence of the international over the “heinous massacre” committed by the Assad regime on Monday in the town, claiming the lives of dozens of civilians. The council denied claims by Russia, Assad’s staunchest ally, that the bombing targeted militants of the Nusra Front, which the council confirmed does not have any presence in the town.
During a press conference held on Tuesday, the local council said that the intense bombing on the town caused panic among civilians. It noted that the airstrikes were unprecedented in terms of the missiles used and the size of the area targeted by the airstrikes.
An eyewitness confirmed that eight Russian-made vacuum missiles directly targeted densely populated areas inside the town.
On Tuesday, Deputy Head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), Akram Tomah stressed that there are no militants of the Nusra Front armed group in the town of Arbeen, adding that the bombing targeted residential areas.
“The towns of Douma and Arbeen are void of any armed presence,” Tomah told Hawa Smart radio. “Russia and the Assad regime are targeting civilians under the pretext of fighting the Nusra Front.”
Abu Ammar Hajar, head of the local council in Arbeen, told Kullana Shurakaa’ website that the council issued a statement calling on international organizations, including the United Nations to assume their responsibilities towards protection of unarmed civilians.
Abu Alyosir Baraa’, director of the unified media office in Arbeen, said: “For seven years, the Assad regime have violated all agreements and UN resolutions that called for the protection of civilians. Every time we hear about a truce or agreement to stop violence, the Assad regime intensifies bombardment and airstrikes, especially against civilians.”
The FSA’s military council in Damascus and its countryside blamed Russia for the horrible massacre in Arbeen as it a guarantor of the “de-escalation zones” agreement. Russia has earlier announced that it had set up its first checkpoint in eastern Ghouta to monitor the agreement.
According to initial counts, the airstrikes on Arbeen killed over 20 civilians and injured 50 more, mostly women and children. The airstrikes hit a public market and civilian homes in yet a new breach of the “de-escalation agreement” which was announced earlier in eastern Ghouta. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)