French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre has warned that eastern Ghouta “might be the new Aleppo in terms of humanitarian disaster,” saying that the Assad regime bears full responsibility for the deteriorating situation in the Damascus suburb.
Speaking at an emergency UN Security Council session called by France to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria on Monday, Delattre said: “The number one party responsible for the humanitarian tragedy in Syria is the Syrian regime. The number one tragedy happening before our eyes happens in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib.”
Delattre presented the Council with three letters warning that “if things continue this way, Eastern Ghouta might be the new Aleppo in terms of humanitarian disaster.” He called on the Assad regime to respect international humanitarian law as he emphasized the need to revive the political process in Syria.
A UN commission of inquiry accused the Assad regime and its allied militia of committing war crimes in Aleppo during a military operation that ended in the recapture of the eastern parts of the city and the forced displacement of its population.
As many as 1,337 civilians were killed and 9,123 more were wounded in besieged eastern Ghouta district in attacks by regime forces in 2017, the Syrian Civil Defense Corps said in early January. The rescue group said that the victims included 12 of its staff members.
The Free Directorate of Health in Damascus and its Countryside said that at least 194 people were killed and 759 others injured in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, including many women and children, as a result of aerial and artillery bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian forces during the first ten days of 2018.
The Civil Defense urged civic, legal local and international institutions to intervene to protect civilians in eastern Ghouta and to exert pressure on active players to stop military attacks on civilians, ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the area, and ensure that medical evacuations are carried out. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)