August 17, 2015
Scores of indiscriminate regime airstrikes on a civilian marketplace in the Damascus suburb of Douma yesterday killed over 100 and wounded more than 200 civilians. The regime underscored its contempt for an international community that has failed to hold it to account for its actions by executing the strikes while the UN Humanitarian Chief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien was in Damascus meeting with Assad’s officials. Commenting today, the Syrian National Coalition’s Representative to the Benelux and EU, Mouaffaq Nyrabia said:
“This latest massacre signals a further intensification of the Assad regime’s deliberate and unlawful targeting of civilian populations through the indiscriminate use of force and crude weaponry. The attack against the marketplace in Douma left scores of women and children dead, making it one of the deadliest single days in the four years since the start of the Syrian uprising. I call on the EU and the wider international community to condemn Assad’s massacre in Douma – and across Syria – and to put in place measures to hold perpetrators of these crimes against humanity to account.
“The Douma massacre resurrects memories of the tragic bombing of the marketplace in Sarajevo during the Bosnian civil war. Both incidents left hundreds of innocent civilians dead. Whereas the incident in Sarajevo received universal international condemnation and led to public calls by human rights and humanitarian NGOs on the need for a no-fly zone to protect Bosnian civilians, the international community has by enlarge remained silent on the Douma massacre. But the needs of civilians in Syria today are no different from civilians in Bosnia 20 years ago. We should not let yesterday’s tragic loss of life in Douma be treated as another ordinary day in Syria. Four years into this crisis, Syrians desperately need a comprehensive plan that includes a no-fly zone across Syria to provide protection to all Syrians from the airstrikes witnessed in Douma, barrel bombs, and chemical weapons. The international community has the tools available to stop the killing by aerial bombardment immediately. Syrians cannot understand therefore why they are needlessly condemned to death.”