Syria – Bombing in Eastern Ghouta (20 February 2018)

The bombing by the regime and its allies has resulted in a hundred or so civilian casualties in Eastern Ghouta over the last few days. These indiscriminate attacks are deliberately targeted against populated areas and civilian infrastructure, notably including medical facilities. They constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

This bombing campaign is taking place on a breathtaking scale while the humanitarian situation is already critical in Eastern Ghouta. 400,000 civilians are besieged by Bashar al-Assad’s army, including 750 people awaiting emergency medical evacuation which is being denied to them.

The Syrian regime, as well as Russia and Iran, which are its main supporters and which, under the Astana agreements, agreed to act as guarantors of a ceasefire that is meant to apply to Ghouta, bear responsibility for these actions. France calls on all of its partners at the UN Security Council to assume their responsibilities in order to finally reach a humanitarian truce.

Q - Yesterday in Eastern Ghouta the attacks by the Syrian regime’s forces killed several dozen local residents (perhaps as many as 80 people were killed, most of them civilians). You are not talking directly with Damascus but you are talking with Moscow, which supports the Syrian regime. What are you saying to the Russians about this issue and what means of influence do you have in order to put an end to this massacre, given that there are almost 400,000 people in extreme distress in Eastern Ghouta. Have you had any recent contact with Moscow regarding this issue?

A - Please refer to today’s statement.