Activist Group Avaaz Asks Obama for Syria No-Fly Zone
Global online activist organization Avaaz called Thursday on U.S. President Barack Obama to establish a no-fly zone in Syria in order to protect Syrian civilians from Assad’s air force which has been barrel bombing them for over four years.
The organization, which unites 41.5 million activists all over the world in an online platform, placed a full-page ad in the New York Times, asking: “President Obama, what are you waiting for ?”
“We hope to help Syrians who are trapped and are under chemical attack. The majority of Americans support the declaration of no-fly zone to save their lives and 1.930,775 people around the world are calling for action,” it read.
The Avaaz campaign follows a hearing session in the US Congress on Wednesday of gruesome new evidence provided by aid workers showing the effects of Assad’s use of chlorine gas against civilians.
Dr. Mohamed Tennari, a doctor who runs a field hospital in Sarmin, in Syria's Idlib province, presented evidence of the attacks, compiled by the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. SAMS says it has counted 31 chlorine attacks in the province between March 13 and June 9, with 580 Syrians affected and 10 killed from suffocation, including children.
Dr. Annie Sparrow, a pediatrician and health activist who has worked on the Syrian border since 2012, told the committee the Assad regime has only targeted civilian populations with improvised barrel bombs and chlorine gas attacks.
Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan said “the photos that we've seen are worth millions of words,” calling for publicly publishing the video to inform the Americans over the "brutality of the Assad regime."
The Syrian Coalition said that the Assad regime’s frequent violations the UN Security Council's resolution 2209 that condemns and bans the use of poison gas shows utmost disregard for international laws and conventions.
It stresses the need for a quick and strong response from the UN Security Council to these crimes under Chapter VII of the UN charter as is spelled out in Resolution 2209. “We lay legal responsibility to protect Syrian civilians on the UN Security Council, which is also responsible for preserving international peace and security, and work to prevent more casualties as a result of the continuing aerial bombardment campaigns waged by the Assad regime against civilians." (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)