Tuesday, 18 August 2015 16:51

UN and EU Condemn Douma Massacre

The United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, condemned the regime’s airstrikes on a crowded marketplace in Douma on Sunday when approximately 120 civilians were killed. He said the regime forces’ bombing of Douma was "devastating" and "unacceptable."

"Hitting crowded civilian markets, killing almost one hundred of its own citizens by a government is unacceptable in any circumstances," Mistura said in a statement.

"Attacks on civilian areas with aerial indiscriminate bombs, such as vacuum bombs, are prohibited under international law," he said.

Stephen O'Brien, the UN's humanitarian chief, said he is "horrified" by the attacks on civilians taking place in Syria. He told reporters during a visit to Damascus that the targeting of noncombatants in the country's war was "unlawful, unacceptable and must stop".

He was "particularly appalled" by regime air strikes in Douma on Sunday.

In a joint statement released Monday, the European Union High Representative, Federica Mogherini, and the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said that “violence continues to escalate in Syria, which has already become the world's largest humanitarian crisis.”

“In early August alone, no fewer than nine hospitals were deliberately targeted in the Idlib region and civilians were hit in Douma, Zabadani and elsewhere, killing more than one hundred Syrian citizens, including women and children. Hospitals, just like schools and markets, must be particularly respected. Hospitals are neutral spaces where people should be able to seek vital health care safely.”

“Those responsible for the numerous grave violations of human rights and the murder of thousands of civilians must be held accountable,” the statement added.

In a press conference held yesterday in response to the Douma massacre, President Khoja said that “any talk of political and peaceful solutions in the shadow of massacres and excusing the criminal from punishment will have no meaning in realizing stability in Syria."

“We emphasize that we continue to coordinate with rebel factions to take appropriate steps to protect civilians and deter the regime from committing more crimes,” stressing the need to protect civilians in the liberated areas and support their demand for the establishment of safe areas. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)

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