On Sunday, the Trump Administration accused Russia of helping the Syrian regime of Bashar Al Assad of killing civilians in a recent advance on a rebel enclave. The ongoing civil war in Syria has taken thousands of lives, and as fighting bleeds out into the surrounding countryside, nations are looking for someone to blame.
“The United States condemns the ongoing military offensive that the Assad regime, backed by Russia and Iran, is perpetrating against the people of Eastern Ghouta. After repeatedly delaying the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2401, which demanded a 30-day cessation of hostilities across Syria, Russia has gone on to ignore its terms and to kill innocent civilians under the false auspices of counterterrorism operations,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary in a statement.
The statement was released in retaliation, after Moscow opposed a United Nations (UN) resolution in February to establish a 30-day ceasefire on the Eastern parts of rebel-heald Ghouta.
“Since 18 February, close to 600 people have reportedly been killed in air and ground-based strikes on the besieged enclave, while over 2,000 people have been injured. At the same time, ground-based strikes and mortar shelling from eastern Ghouta have killed and injured scores of civilians in neighboring Damascus,” Moumtzis said.
“The Assad regime, along with its backers in Moscow and Tehran, should adhere to UNSCR 2401, cease hostilities in and around Eastern Ghouta, and allow unfettered delivery of humanitarian aid to the nearly 400,000 innocent civilians in critical need,” the statement said.
In a statement by the U.N on Sunday, the UN said that it was concerned about the violence in Eastern Ghouta and that “collective punishment of civilians is simply unacceptable.”
“Not only has this not happened, in some cases, the violence has escalated, particularly for the close to 400,000 men, women and children of East Ghouta. Instead of a much needed reprieve, we continue to see more fighting, more death, and more disturbing reports of hunger and hospitals being bombed,” the statement read.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in her statement that Assad’s forces should halt their offensive immediately.
“The civilized world must not tolerate the Assad regime’s continued use of chemical weapons,” Sanders said, referring to recent reports that the Assad government has used chemical weapons against the rebel-held areas. Assad has denied the allegations.
According to a report by the U.N, more than 385,000 people have been displaced from their homes since the attacks began in December. A call for a ceasefire was backlashed by Russia, claiming that a ceasefire against a terrorist group was unrealistic.