May 15, 2017
The Syrian Coalition condemns the crime of mass forced displacement of civilians in the eastern districts of Damascus including Barzah and Tishreen and most recently from the district of Qaboun which is now being emptied of its local population.
The mass forced displacement of civilians violates international law and constitutes a crime against humanity. No party has the right to conclude, justify, or recognize any agreement involving mass forced displacement.
The continued mass forced displacement operations by the Assad regime contradict the requirements of the implementation of the Astana “de-escalation” agreement signed by the guarantors. They also expose the real objective behind all steps and agreements being furthered by Russia and Iran as a means to kill and displace more Syrians as well as to prop up the Assad regime against a people demanding freedom.
The mass forced displacement of the indigenous population of Damascus followed the immense suffering of thousands of civilians in the districts of Qaboun, Barzah, and Tishreen. These areas have been subjected to years-long besiegement and daily bombardment by warplanes, rockets, artillery, tanks, and chemical weapons, including chlorine gas amid countless attempts by regime forces and their allied militias to storm into these areas.
The Syrian Coalition holds the international community responsible for the ongoing policy of mass forced displacement of civilians in the eastern suburbs of Damascus and all other areas that are subjected to besiegement as well as constant aerial and artillery bombardment. The barbaric tactics being deployed by the Assad regime and its backers is a direct result of the failure of the international community to put an end to continued mass forced displacement, murder, destruction, and besiegement that have been ongoing for over 6 years in Syria.