Eastern Ghouta: ‘Hell on Earth’

Following the Security Council’s resolution on Saturday, the United Nations Secretary-General has called for an immediate 30-day ceasefire in Syria; detailing the situation in Eastern Ghouta as ‘Hell on Earth’.

In figures taken from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, recent attacks in rebel-held suburbs have resulted in the deaths of over 550 people within the space of eight days.

These deaths come only days after a ceasefire was called for by the UN.

On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin demanded humanitarian intervention from 9am-2pm local time to allow for evacuations from, and aid into, Eastern Ghouta.

Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, reminded both sides of the conflict “of their absolute obligation and international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure at all times.”

Late last week, the Syrian opposition accused the government of subjecting civilians of Eastern Ghouta to a suspected chlorine gas attack, after a child died from symptoms consistent with chlorine gas exposure.

However, Russia’s foreign minister denounced the accusations; stating that the media was relying on false claims.

Since Sunday, President al-Assad’s forces have been attempting to penetrate the besieged Eastern Ghouta enclave which has been run by rebels for the past five years. In total, almost 400,000 civilians are caught in the middle of government air raids in the district.

Humanitarian crises are occurring elsewhere in the country; with rebels clashing in the west and the US targeting ISIL in the east, while Turkey fights Kurdish militia in the north.

For the moment, Al Jazeera reports that Syrian forces “have not been able to take an inch of territory” in Eastern Ghouta.

International Human Rights / Humanitarian Law, Middle East

Phoebe Egoroff

Founder and of Jurist International, a website focusing on the latest developments in international human rights and criminal law.

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