February 8, 2017
In a yet new blatant violation of the cease-fire agreement, pro-regime forces have recently launched a large-scale onslaught on several fronts in eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus. The Free Syrian Army fighters in the area, fully aware of the regime’s intentions and its reluctance to respect the truce, were ready to repel the attack and managed to retake control of the areas that fell to regime forces in the past 24 hours.
These violations of the truce agreement must prompt action by guarantors of the ceasefire agreement as they are obliged to prove serious about safeguarding the agreement and preventing its collapse. The assault on eastern Ghouta underlines the need for the international community and the UN Security Council to put pressure on the Assad regime’s allies to force it to abide by the agreement and the relevant international resolutions.
These repeated violations by regime forces raise the need to activate the ceasefire monitoring mechanism and to issue formal reports determining those responsible for the truce violations so that they can be held accountable and forced to stop these violations.
The Coalition warns of plans by regime forces to displace the civilian population of eastern Ghouta and force them out of their homes. These plans, amounting to crimes against humanity, are part of the Assad regime’s policy aimed at changing the demographic landscape in Syria.
The Coalition renews calls on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter demanding immediate cessation of hostilities; halting attacks on civilians; lifting of the sieges; stopping all forced displacement operations; ensuring the withdrawal of all occupying forces and terrorist foreign militias from Syria; and contributing to the efforts aimed at reaching a political solution that ensures the rights and aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom, justice, and dignity are met.