Press Statement Original in arabic
February 15, 2017
The Assad regime forces, backed by Russian air forces and the Iranian-backed militias, have committed no fewer than 80 breaches of the ceasefire agreement in the past three days, including over 30 breaches in Dara’a city and its countryside. These breaches have resulted in horrible massacres claiming the lives of at least 47 people, mostly civilians.
Regime forces and their allies have launched a punishing campaign on Dara’a and its countries, bombing the FSA-held areas with jets, helicopters, rocket launchers, and heavy artillery. The ferocious bombardment is mainly targeting residential areas of the city and the FSA-held towns and villages, most notably the towns of Tafas, Tal Shehab, Harra, Bosra Alsham, Musayfirah as well as most of the towns and villages in Lajat area in eastern rural Dara’a.
The towns and villages in the Lajat area have been subjected to constant artillery bombardment and siege by regime forces since early January. Regime forces continue with their attempts to advance on the area, inflicting heavy casualties among civilians and widespread destruction and prompting an exodus of civilians from the area.
The Assad regime’s assault on Dara’a province threatens the lives of tens of thousands of civilians, making it imperative that the international community assumes its responsibility towards the plight of civilians in the province. Action must be urgently taken to stop the regime’s indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas using internationally prohibited weapons, including chlorine gas.
The Syrian Coalition condemns this brutal bombardment campaign which constitutes a blatant violation of the ceasefire agreement. The fact that this campaign is being carried out with direct support from a guarantor country puts the cease-fire agreement at risk of total collapse.
The Coalition stresses the need for the international community and the UN Security Council to exert pressure on the regime’s allies to force it to abide by the truce and the relevant international resolutions as a new round of negotiations in Geneva starts in a few days. These negotiations will be doomed to fail if the regime’s violations of the truce continue.