The French Foreign Ministry criticized the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreements in Syria, saying that they are “being implemented in a very unequal manner” though admitting that the agreements “have helped reduce the general level of violence.”
French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne told a news conference on Monday said that that the violations by regime forces which had been observed over the last few days in eastern Ghouta, where several dozen civilians have been killed, are unacceptable.
The French Foreign Ministry called on the states that are acting as the guarantors of these safety zones to “fully assume their responsibilities and to put an end to these violations. All parties have a responsibility to ensure unconditional, full and unrestricted access for humanitarian assistance.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that 146 civilians, including 37 children, have been killed in eastern Ghouta over the past two weeks. The area has been subjected to intense bombardment by the Assad regime forces and Russian jets even though it was covered by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that health officials in eastern Ghouta have reported that 84 people have been killed and another 659 injured in intensified bombardments by Assad regime forces on the rebel-held area during a 4-day period alone from 14 to 17 November.
Assad regime forces and Russia air force have intensified artillery and aerial bombarded on eastern Ghouta since early November, killing and injuring dozens of civilians as well as causing massive destruction to vital civilian centers and infrastructure. Since June 2017, the area has been included in the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement that was reached during the Astana talks.
The agreement called for the lifting of the siege of eastern Ghouta and the introduction of basic necessities without any impediments or taxes. It also called on parties to the agreement to release detainees. However, local activists confirmed that none of these provisions have been implemented yet.
The Syrian Coalition earlier said that military escalation by regime forces and their allies is aimed at undermining chances for political solution by insisting on committing crimes and pursuing murderous policies. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)