Thursday, 7 April 2016

Syrian Ceasefire in Danger as Syrian Civilians Appeal for Protection



As Syria’s fragile Cessation of Hostilities enters its second month, Syrians on the ground are confronting a dangerous intensification of Syrian regime airstrikes.  On Thursday 31 March, at least 33 civilians were killed and dozens of others injured after Syrian regime forces launched a series of barrel bomb and missile attacks on schools, hospitals and homes in the outskirts of Damascus.  Among those killed were several children, as well as a brave rescue worker from the Syrian Civil Defence.

“Assad’s attacks are a reminder that the real terrorist in Syria is Assad.  If the world does not take action soon, his killing will destroy the ceasefire agreement, and extinguish any hopes we Syrians have of reaching a political solution to the crisis,” said Mu’taz Al-Jabawi, Chairman of the Board of the Union of Syrian Civil Society Organizations. “If the international community wants to guarantee Syria’s ceasefire, it needs to protect Syrian civilians.”

Syrians on the ground are deeply worried that recent attacks signal a growing escalation of the violence in Syria, and a weakening of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement.  In the first month of the ceasefire, close to 900 violations were recorded, with new violations emerging every day.  In addition to the recent intensification of airstrikes in Syria, regime forces have redoubled their siege tactics—deliberately denying medical aid to innocent men, women and children in desperate need of medical attention.  The situation is particularly horrific in places like Darayya, East Harasta and Douma, where regime forces are systematically denying innocent civilians access to clean water, medical supplies, electricity, gas or basic food supplies—despite the month old Cessation of Hostilities agreement, which requires all parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian aid agencies rapid, unhindered and sustained access throughout areas under their control.

“Time is running out to save Syria’s ceasefire.  There must be consequences for violations of the agreement - otherwise Assad will get the message that he can persist with ever more egregious violations,” said Dr. Haytham Alhamwi of Rethink Rebuild Society.  “We need the world to act now to guarantee the protection of civilians, break the sieges - including through airdrops if necessary - and ensure the delivery of aid.

Signatories

Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) · Jasmine Dream · Alaa Basatnah · Union of Syrian Civil Society Organizations · Rafif Jouejati, FREE Syria · Rami Jarrah, ANA press · Independent Doctors Association · Mayday · Rethink Rebuild Society · Palestinian League for Human Rights - Syria · Syrian Platform for Peace · Syria Solidarity UK · Zaytoon · Zaad · Syrian Women's Network · Syrian Nonviolence Movement

Save Our Syria (SOS) is a coalition of Syrian civil society and humanitarian groups from inside and outside Syria.   We seek to ensure Syrian-led solutions to the Syrian crisis.

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