Dozens of civilians were killed and wounded in bombardment by the Assad regime forces on towns and villages of the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta in the past few hours. Regime forces continue to prevent the entry of aid convoys to the besieged area in blatant violation of the recently adopted UN Security Council resolution 2401.
The White House, following US President Donald Trump calls to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, issued a statement on Friday that stresses the urgency of the situation in Syria.
The leaders agreed that “the Syrian regime, and its Russian and Iranian supporters, should immediately and fully implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2401” calling for an immediate ceasefire across Syria, the statement said. “The President underscored that the United States will not tolerate the atrocities of the Assad regime.”
The United Nations renewed its calls to stop the bombing of eastern Ghouta and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need. “What we need to see is a halt to the fighting. Once a halt… when the fighting stops, people would be able to move, and we would be able to get those who are in need of most help to leave … It’s not complicated,” said Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary‑General on Friday.
The Syrian Civil Defense said that 17 civilians were killed in rocket and artillery shelling on eastern Ghouta on Friday, adding that the Assad regime Russian air forces are using cluster bombs in the bombing on the area.
The UN children’s agency UNICEF on Friday said that it was waiting for permission from the Assad regime to introduce an aid convoy with supplies for 180,000 people to the town of Douma in the besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta.
Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, told a news conference that there was no sign of agreement on further convoys to serve the rest of the enclave’s 400,000 people, nor any agreement on evacuation for some 1,000 people in dire medical need.
The Syrian Coalition’s Secretary-General Nazir al-Hakim stressed the need for the UN Security Council to follow up on the implementation of resolution 2401 and put an end to the daily killings of Syrian civilians by the Assad regime and Russian air forces as well as ensure the immediate delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.
Hakim on Friday stressed that the UN Security Council should not accept Russia’s manipulation of international resolutions and the use of them as a cover to commit more war crimes against civilians in eastern Ghouta.
Regime forces and their allied foreign militias have been besieging eastern Ghouta since 2013. In addition to the blocking of the entry of aid convoys, the area has been subjected to relentless bombardment by various types of weapons. Amnesty International said that the siege and bombardment constituted war crime and called for an immediate halt to these actions.