White Helmets appeal to international community for action, as hundreds killed in East Ghouta

White Helmets appeal to international community for action, as hundreds killed in East Ghouta
2 min read
15 January, 2018
Syria's civil defence force has called on institutions to intervene as a human rights report announces 329 civilians have been killed in two months in East Ghouta.
East Ghouta has witnessed continual regime bombardment (Getty)
The Syrian White Helmets have called on the international community to intervene to save the residents of East Ghouta from continued attacks from regime forces, and to pressure Damascus to allow the entry of medicine and food into the area.

"The Syrian regime is continuing its attack on East Ghouta, breaching all conventions that allow for the protection of civilians in military conflict," read a statement from Syria's civil defence force.

The group - which provides life-saving rescue services in opposition areas - urged civil and legal institutions, both national and worldwide, to respond to the crisis. 

The White Helmets stressed that its teams would remain ready to provide assistance to civilians, despite continual regime bombardment.

The appeal comes as the Syrian Human Rights Network  documented the deaths of 329 civilians, including 79 children, during the last two months of regime bombardment on the besieged city of East Ghouta.

The report said that the agreement reached by both sides in May 2017 to de-escalate the fighting has failed to halt "massacres" carried out by Syrian regime and Russian forces.

At least 84 attacks have been carried out on civilian infrastructure, including twelve hospitals since 22 July 2017 - the date of the agreement between rebel group Jaish al-Islam and Russian forces.

Eastern Ghouta has seen the entry of only four aid convoys since July, although the agreement clearly stipulated the need to end the imposed siege, allowing access to relief and evacuation of the wounded.

According to the report, there are around 630 critically ill civilians in Ghouta in desperate need of medical attention.

At least six civilians, including a woman and child, have died of starvation as a result of the siege imposed on the area.