April 8, 2018
In blatant defiance and utter disregard for all human values, Russia and the Assad regime late on Saturday carried out barbaric bombing raids on the town of Douma in eastern Ghouta, using poison gas against civilians trapped inside the besieged town. According to initial reports, more than 100 civilians, mostly children and women, suffocated to death, while over one thousands more suffered from asphyxiation. The fate of hundreds of families in underground shelters is still unknown due to lack of communications and the difficulties rescue teams are facing while trying to reach the victims.
The Syrian Coalition stresses that the use chemical weapons, inflammable napalm, and the white phosphorus in the bombings of eastern Ghouta constituted a war crime and genocide. The violent Saturday bombings targeted women and children who sought shelter in makeshift underground basements. Russia and the Assad regime bear total and direct responsibility for these barbaric crimes.
Calling a UN Security Council session has proved futile given Russia’s repeated blocking of any action by the Council. The Syrian Coalition, therefore, calls on the Council’s permanent members and the concerned countries, namely the United States, Great Britain, and France, to take urgent action in accordance with their responsibilities for maintaining international peace and security. We call on these countries to launch military strikes against the Assad regime’s military positions, airbases, and military bases from which attacks on civilians are being launched.
The Syrian Coalition also calls for the urgent referral of the Assad regimes’ crimes to the International Criminal Court. It is the responsibility of everyone to put an end to the brutal onslaught on Douma and eastern Ghouta and protect about 200,000 civilians who are still trapped in the liberated part of eastern Ghouta.
The Coalition calls upon the Syrian and Arab communities and all free people around the world to speak up against the Assad regime’s crimes and exert pressure on the governments of the countries that remain silent over these heinous crimes.
The Coalition leadership is communicating with the countries concerned to urge a response to Russia’s military escalation and the genocide taking place in eastern Ghouta as well as to ensure accountability for these crimes and protection for our people in Douma.