The United Nations called on the Assad regime to respect international humanitarian law and to protect civilians trapped in the town of Douma in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta. The Assad regime and Russia forced most of eastern Ghouta residents to leave their homes in the largest mass forced displacement and demographic change operation in Syria since the revolution began in 2011.
“The UN calls on all parties to fully respect international humanitarian and human rights law, to guarantee the protection of all civilians in eastern Ghouta and to ensure immediate humanitarian access to those in need,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at a daily briefing on Monday.
“While humanitarians are bravely doing all they can to respond to the needs of people who have been displaced, they also need access to people still trapped inside eastern Ghouta — in Duma in particular, where fighting and besiegement continue,”
Haq added: “Nearly 55,000 civilians from eastern Ghouta are currently being hosted in seven collective shelters in rural Damascus. This is a displaced population that has endured months with limited access to food, medical care or other essential items.”
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) on Sunday said that the Assad regime and its allies have never complied with UN Security Council Resolution 2401 calling for a ceasefire in Syria, especially in eastern Ghouta. It pointed out that 871 civilians, including 179 children, have been killed in eastern Ghouta alone since the adoption of resolution 2401 on February 24.
The Assad regime’s ongoing onslaught on eastern Ghouta has resulted in the displacement of thousands of people from Douma town and tens of thousands more from the towns of Harasta, Arbeen, Jobar, Ayn Tarma and Zamalka.
The Syrian Coalition said that the onslaught on eastern Ghouta is a “full-fledged war crime” as it condemned Russia’s major role in these crimes. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)