The Syrian Coalition renewed calls on the international community to take serious, urgent action to put an end to the Assad regime’s crimes and siege of eastern Ghouta; hold those responsible to account; and salvage the political process in line with UN resolutions and the Geneva Communique of 2012.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition said: “The situation in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta in general and in the town of Irbeen in particular is further deteriorating with each passing day. The international community, meanwhile, is completely absent as it has so far failed to assume its responsibilities.”
Local activists said that two children were killed and others wounded in artillery shelling by the Assad regime forces targeting residential areas in the town of Irbeen in eastern Ghouta on Wednesday morning. They pointed out that the bombardment, which has been ongoing for over 20 days, has killed dozens of civilians and caused widespread destruction to civilian houses and services centers.
The Coalition warned the international community of “the consequences of its negative position and its complete failure to take action to put an end to the atrocities being committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people backed by the Russian air force and the foreign militias.”
“Over the past three weeks, eastern Ghouta has been a hell of fire and destruction as cluster bombs and chemical weapons, especially chlorine gas, have been rained on civilians in the area.”
The Coalition went on to say that at least 47 people have been killed in the town of Irbeen alone in the past three weeks, mostly women and children. A total of 200 civilians have been killed and hundreds more injured in eastern Ghouta over the same period.
The towns and villages of eastern Ghouta have been subjected to intensified airstrikes and shelling by heavy artillery, which have killed hundreds of civilians and caused massive destruction to residential neighborhoods and infrastructure. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee stressed the need to fully implement UN Security Council resolution 2254 which called for immediate halt to bombardment, the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need, and the formation of a transitional governing body with full executive powers.
The Committee issued a press release on Wednesday to draw attention to the Assad regime’s relentless bombardment and tightened siege on the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.
The brutal bombardment that has been targeting the towns and villages of eastern Ghouta over the last three weeks, using toxic gases, especially the poisonous chlorine, cluster bombs and conventional ammunition has led to the death of 180 civilians including women and children and inured dozens more,” the Committee said.
The Committee underscored that the Assad regime’s ferocious onslaught on eastern Ghouta has once again shown that the Assad regime is unwilling to engage in negotiations; is not interested in any political solution; and seeks to undermine all chances of reaching a political solution.
The Committee pointed out that about 400,000 civilians in eastern Ghouta have been subjected to tightened siege by regime forces and the Iranian-backed militias since late 2012.
The Committee slammed the international community’s failure to take action to save the lives of civilians trapped in eastern Ghouta and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid in line with the UN Security Council resolutions. It noted that the people in eastern Ghouta are subjected to relentless bombardment and tightened siege and are at risk of death in bombardment and of starvation.
The barbaric behavior of the Assad regime is a reflection of the inaction of the international community which stands idly by watching the killing, siege and displacement for nearly seven years, the Committee added.
“We want to draw the attention of the international community to the dangers of attempts by the Assad regime to sabotage the political process and undermine its chances. We also warn of the consequences of the Assad regime’s exploitation of the dubious silence of the international community which has not lifted a finger towards the dozens of crimes the Assad regime has committed in recent weeks and the massacres committed against the Syrians for the past seven years.
“The international community is facing a crucial turning point and should move seriously to deter the regime from committing its crimes and holding the perpetrators accountable along with saving the political process in line with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the relevant UN resolutions. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Members of the delegation of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) held a teleconference with Syrian activists to brief them about the developments of the current round of negotiations in Geneva.
The teleconference was held on the sidelines of a panel discussion that was held in the Turkish city of Istanbul under the title "Syria: To where?" Member of the HNC delegation Firas al-Khalidi stressed that the regime continues to reject engagement in the political process as it carries on with bombardment against the Syrian people and insists on pursuing a military solution.
The war crimes the Assad regime is committing in eastern Ghouta have revealed its real intentions, Khalidi said. He called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the implementation of international resolutions on Syria.
Member of the advisory delegation, Riyad al-Hassan, said that the delegation went to Geneva to engage in serious negotiations in order to bring about a political transition in line with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the UN Security Council resolutions 2118 and 2254.
Hassan pointed out that "the political process we are engaged in will significantly weaken the Assad regime just as it was militarily weakened.
The HNC’s delegation participated in two sessions of talks with the UN team in Geneva on Tuesday and discussed with the team of the UN envoy, Staffan de Mistura the situation in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The delegation of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) held new session of talks with the UN team in Geneva on Tuesday evening. The delegation raised the issues of the escalating military campaign by the Assad regime on the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta and the tightened siege on towns and villages in the rebel-held area.
Head of the HNC’s delegation Nasr al-Hariri stressed that the international community has a responsibility to force the Assad regime's delegation to participate in the Geneva negotiations. He noted that the Assad regime would not stop inventing excuses in order to sabotage the political process.
"The political solution will restore security and stability to the country," Hariri told reporters in the UN headquarters in Geneva. "The regime is still counting on a military solution as is evidenced by its actions on the ground. The international community bears primary responsiblity for these actions.”
Following talks with the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, Hariri said that the HNC delegation presented a special report to the UN envoy as well as a memorandum to the UN Secretary General, the UN Security Council, the Arab League, and the friends of the Syrian people detailing the deteriorating humanitarian situations in eastern Ghouta. The report also called for taking action to ensure that the siege on eastern Ghouta is lifted and criminals who are committing atrocities in Syria are held to account.
Hariri pointed out that the HNC’s delegation will continue to engage in serious talks with the UN team in order to reach a genuine political solution. He noted that the Assad regime is committing the most horrible atrocities and massacres against the people of eastern Ghouta and preventing the medical evacuation of dozens of women, children and the wounded who need urgent medical care. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)