December 31, 2016
The Syrian National Coalition warns of the consequences that may result from the brutal assault being carried out by regime forces and their allied Hezbollah and the Iranian militias against the towns and villages of the Wadi Barada valley northwest ofDamascus. It calls on guarantors of the ceasefire agreement to prevent any further violation of the agreement.
Reports coming from Wadi Barada valley confirmed that regime fighter jets and helicopters have bombed residential neighborhoods in the villages of Bseiam and Alfijah with barrel bombs and missiles. Hezbollah militia, meanwhile, have massed troops to attack the area from more than one side. Residents of the area received threats and orders to leave their homes.
The latest developments in Wadi Barada valley are a continuation of the assault launched on the area by the Assad regime and the Iranian militias several weeks ago. All basic services have been cut off from the area where nearly 100,000 civilians are living under years-long siege. The scorched earth policy regime forces and their allies are pursuing in the area has further aggravated the suffering of civilians in light of severe weather conditions and the lack of heating fuel and power outages.
The ongoing assault on Wadi Barada valley represents a clear violation of the cease-fire agreement which took effect on Thursday. These violations are added to a long list of violations committed by regime forces and their allied militias in various parts of Rural Damascus, Dara’a, Idlib, Hama, and Homs over the past two days. It is imperative that guarantors of the agreement stop these violations.
The Syrian Coalition highly praises the efforts being made by civil institutions and NGOs in Wadi Barada valley, calling on the international community to intervene to save the lives of besieged civilians from the constant bombing. Urgent action needs to be taken to avoid an imminent catastrophe affecting civilians in large areas of Damascus and its countryside.