The Syrian army again bombed the rebel stronghold East Ghouta. With this, the regime of President Assad ignores the UN resolution adopted on 26th Feb by the Security Council.
The members of the council unanimously adopted a resolution for a ceasefire throughout Syria. Even Russia, an ally of Assad, supported the resolution. The UN members want a battle break so that people in the besieged area can be reached by aid workers.
Air strikes and artillery bombardments
In the first hours after the council unanimously adopted the resolution, the attacks did decline slightly. But according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there were again air strikes and artillery bombardments today.
East Ghouta is one of the last strongholds of opponents of President Bashar al-Assad and has been besieged since 2013. According to the UN, nearly 400,000 people still live in the area. More and more inhabitants are suffering from malnutrition due to food shortages. Due to bombing, 500 people died last week.
Last week the Syrian girls Noor and Alaa have been reporting on the war in East Ghouta with films on Twitter for a few months now. They paint a disconcerting picture of the besieged area, where hundreds of people died during the bombing in recent days.
Whether their names are really Noor and Alaa is not known, says Middle East correspondent Olaf Koens. “But I have been confirmed in the past few days that the locations in the films are correct and that the children from the movies really do exist, to put it simply: this is not propaganda material that has been recorded in some basement in East London.”
There is no doubt, says Koens that activists are behind the films. “Of course, this is a campaign, but it is organized by people who are so desperate, that they use a very last resort: the suffering of their own children.”
Bombing is real
The children speak broken English and are ‘clearly instructed’, says Koens. “A lot has been put in. It feels unnatural, it is strange to watch the plays that they sometimes have to perform from their parents.”
But the bombing is real, just like the fright, the tears and the dust. East Ghouta is under fire from the Syrian government army and, according to Koens, ‘has become an enclave where rebels and jihadists serve the service’. They fight back.
Violence without limits
The Syrian president wants to recapture the area, where almost 400,000 people live, at any cost. “That is approached systematically,” says Kens, “To break the resistance, for example, specific hospitals are being bombarded. There is no limit to the violence, says Koens. “There is no brake, even if everyone dies there, that is the pattern that repeats itself in Syria.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for an end to the “massacre” in East Ghouta yesterday. “But in the end the international community does not burn their fingers, and Assad and his allies know that badly.”
Why parents let their children act in these gruesome movies? “I think it’s because of pure desperation,” says Koens. “There’s nothing else left for them, they’ve been completely ignored by the rest of the world for seven years now, no one comes to their rescue, they think, maybe they’ll notice if we show our own kids.”
The planes keep coming, wrote Noor and Alaa earlier. Previously, Noor said: “Our house is destroyed, Alaa is wounded.” There is nothing left of their once beautiful neighborhood, they reported this afternoon. “But we are still alive, everyone who asks for it: thank you.”