Press Statement “Original in Arabic”
August 17, 2015
Warplanes of the Assad regime, backed by Iran, conducted multiple air strikes on Douma, Idlib and Zabadani today in continuation of the systematic bombardment of Syrian cities and towns.
The air strikes were deliberate in that Assad’s jet fighters fired missiles on marketplaces at busy time when they are densely crowded with the intention of inflicting as many civilian casualties as possible.
Targeting densely populated areas is undoubtedly a war crime and a violation of international law regardless of any excuse or justification. However, Assad’s crimes outweigh every other war crime as civilians are deliberate targets for bombs.
The number of victims in Douma continues to rise as the regime’s bombardment has not yet stopped. Rescue teams are having enormous difficulties recovering the victims, specifically with the lack of necessary equipment resulting from a crippling siege the Assad regime has imposed on the area for nearly three years.
The Assad regime’s brutal bombing of a marketplace in Douma in Rural Damascus has resulted in the death of over 100 civilians and wounded 300 more. This massacre, alongside the series of bloody massacres committed by the Assad regime and the Iranian occupiers in eastern Ghouta and Idlib claimed the lives of no less than 450 civilians throughout the past week, mostly women and children.
While the Syrian Coalition holds the Iranian occupiers and the Assad regime fully responsible for these massacres, the UN Security Council and the international community’s lukewarm response is a contributing factor in the escalation of massacres against Syrian civilians. We deeply regret the Arab League, the UN Security Council, the European Union and the Group of Friends of the Syrian People’s ignoring of these massacres as well as their failure to condemn them. We also deplore the failure to call for emergency meetings to discuss the necessary measures to protect civilians in Syria.
The Syrian Coalition strongly condemns all types of military and financial support that is offered to the Assad regime, especially supplying it with arms and ammunition under any pretext and from any party whatsoever. We see in this a participation in crimes against humanity. The international community has legal and moral responsibility to prevent Assad from continuing his crimes against the Syrian people. Supporting Assad with more weapons will surely enable him to commit more of these genocidal crimes.
Reacting to today’s horrendous carnage in Douma, President Khoja has been contacting foreign ministers of a number of brotherly and friendly countries to urge them to assume their political, moral and legal responsibilities towards Assad’s genocidal war on the Syrian people.