OIC Decries ‘Brutal’ Bombardment of Eastern Ghouta

One of the heaviest bombardments in years has killed 200 people, many of them civilians, at a rebel-held enclave near Damascus..

Riyadh, MINA – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday condemned the ongoing bombardment of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta district, a besieged suburb of Damascus.

The OIC called on the Syrian regime to immediately halt its “brutal” attacks on the district and allow humanitarian aid convoys into the region.

It also reiterated its commitment to past UN Security Council resolutions calling for the preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity and a “political solution” to the seven-year conflict.

Earlier Thursday, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates both voiced their “deep concern” over the regime’s recent escalations in Eastern Ghouta.

On Wednesday, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry similarly condemned the “massacres” being perpetrated by the Assad regime.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, for its part, called on all parties to the conflict to impose a “humanitarian truce” by which humanitarian aid might be delivered and injured civilians evacuated.

Since Tuesday, regime forces have stepped up attacks on Eastern Ghouta using barrel bombs, artillery and other types of weapons, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent based in the area.

Russia fails to prevent repeated violations

At peace talks held in Kazakh capital Astana last year, Turkey, Russia and Iran designated Eastern Ghouta as a “de-escalation zone” in which acts of aggression would be expressly prohibited.

Nevertheless, Russia — one of the agreement’s three guarantor-states — has failed to prevent the regime from repeatedly violating the terms of the truce.

Home to some 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, which has brought it to the verge of humanitarian catastrophe.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)