November 25, 2016
The Assad regime forces have recently escalated artillery and aerial bombardment of the town of Altal in Rural Damascus despite the so-called truce being put in place. The regime’s escalating bombardment, which is being accompanied by attempts to storm the town, came despite the Free Syrian Army groups in the town agreeing to engage in a new round of negotiations with the Assad regime.
The Syrian Coalition strongly condemns the latest bombardment of Altal and the siege which has been imposed on the town for over one and a half year. The siege is clearly aimed at forcing residents of the town out of their homes through the use of starvation as a weapon, the cutting off of water and electricity, and the deployment of checkpoints on the outskirts of the town to terrorize civilians.
The Syrian Coalition renews confidence in and full support for the representatives of the people and the FSA groups in Altal as it warns of the treachery of the Assad regime given its long record of cheating and reneging on all previous so-called truces. The latest onslaught on Altal is also designed to punish its residents for hosting the people who have been displaced from eastern Ghouta, which still shows legendary resistance in the face of the repeated massacres by regime forces.
The Coalition stresses that the international community’s silence over the terrible daily reality in Syria encourages the Assad regime and its allies to go further in the killing and displacement of the Syrian people. The regime plans to storm Altal and empty it of its local population must not be ignored as the Assad regime has already shown it is willing to commit crimes of unimaginable proportions to achieve its plans.
The international community and the UN Security Council are obliged to exercise pressure on the Assad regime and its allies; warn them of the dire consequences of their actions; force them to respect international resolutions and meet the requirements of a political solution.