October 17, 2013
The Syrian Coalition launches an urgent appeal to the United Nations and its affiliated organizations, the Arab League, and human rights organizations to act immediately to save civilians in western Gouta, rural Damascus. Humanitarian corridors are urgently needed to save the lives of men, women and children in Muadamiyah, which has been under siege by Assad’s forces for more than 330 days.
On Thursday morning, around 2000 Moadamiyah residents, made up of women, children and elderly, attempted to leave the besieged area after the Assad regime promised safe evacuation. However, Assad forces showed up and shot at them before they could evacuate safely. Three died and dozens were injured. Assad’s forces also took a number of women and children hostage and later used them as human shields to launch an offensive on the area.
The Assad regime has infringed every international norm and convention during the past two and a half years. It has arrested, tortured, and killed peaceful protesters. It has carried out heinous massacres across Syria, targeting field hospitals and holy places of worship. Assad’s forces have raped, massacred, burned, and displaced civilians and starved innocent children to death. Today, the Assad regime used civilians as human shields after promising them safety and protection.
Using innocent women and children as human shields is a war crime and indeed a crime against humanity that must not go unpunished in the 21st century. Perpetrators of these crimes must know they will eventually face justice.
We ask for Mercy for our martyrs, health for our wounded, and freedom for our detainees.
Long live Syria and its people, free and with honor.