Syria – Continued shelling in Eastern Ghouta and interruption of a humanitarian convoy (6 March 2018)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the regime’s ongoing air and ground offensive in Eastern Ghouta, in full violation of Security Council resolution 2401. This continuing offensive is resulting in dozens of civilian casualties each day.

France notes that this resolution calls for the complete cessation of hostilities and the implementation of a humanitarian truce lasting at least 30 consecutive days throughout Syrian territory in order to securely deliver humanitarian aid without obstacles and to carry out the urgent medical evacuation of civilians in medical emergencies.

For the first time since February 14, a humanitarian convoy chartered by the United Nations was authorized yesterday to enter Eastern Ghouta in the direction of Douma. But once again, regime forces stripped this convoy of all the medicines and medical kits it was carrying. And given the continued shelling by the Syrian regime, the UN and its partners were forced to interrupt the unloading of the convoy and to urgently evacuate humanitarian personnel.

France condemns these violations of international humanitarian law. It applauds the dedication and courage of UN employees and their humanitarian partners, who are risking their lives so that the 400,000 inhabitants of besieged Ghouta may receive vital assistance.

France calls on allies of the Syrian regime, particularly Russia and Iran, to abide by their international obligations without delay and to force the Damascus regime, which operates with their support, to implement the humanitarian truce. Russia, which voted for resolution 2401, bears particular responsibility in this regard. As President Macron said yesterday, we expect it to take real, concrete measures to bring an immediate halt to indiscriminate shelling and sieges against civilians.