Turkey calls on world to say ‘stop to massacre in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta’
Turkey’s presidential spokesman on Feb. 24 called on the international community to make efforts to stop an ongoing bombing campaign by Syrian government forces — regarded as a massacre — in Eastern Ghouta, a besieged Damascus suburb.
In a tweet, İbrahim Kalın said: “The [Bashar al-] Assad regime is massacring [people] in Eastern Ghouta. Intensive initiatives of our president and related agencies are ongoing.”
Speaking about the expected U.N. Security Council vote on a cease-fire in Syria, he said: “The entire world should say in unison: ‘Stop this massacre.’”
The Security Council postponed a Feb. 23 vote for a 30-day cease-fire across the war-torn country to the next day, Feb. 24, to allow more time for negotiations.
The proposal calls for a cease-fire to distribute humanitarian aid and the medical evacuation of 700 people, particularly in Eastern Ghouta, which is under the siege of the al-Assad regime.
Home to 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta falls within a network of de-escalation zones — endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran — in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
In the past eight months, al-Assad regime forces have intensified their siege, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district, and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.
Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
According to U.N. officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.