UN right chief slams ‘apocalypse’ in Syria
DOUMA – Agence France-Presse
Syria’s regime sent reinforcements to Eastern Ghouta yesterday, tightening the noose around the shrinking rebel enclave ahead of a top-level U.N. meeting on the escalating violence.The blistering onslaught has prompted outrage against the regime, with the United Nations’ human rights chief saying the government was orchestrating an “apocalypse” in Syria.
The Russia-backed Syrian army and allied militia launched an offensive on Feb. 18 to retake the last opposition bastion near Damascus.They have since taken more than 40 percent of the enclave, waging a devastating bombing campaign that has killed more than 800 civilians.Heavy air strikes battered several key towns in the zone yesterday, as Syria’s government dispatched hundreds of pro-government militiamen to the front.
“At least 700 Afghan, Palestinian, and Syrian loyalist militiamen came from Aleppo and were sent late Tuesday to Ghouta,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the Syrian regime and its foreign allies were already planning their next “apocalypse.”
“This month, it is Eastern Ghouta which is, in the words of the Secretary General, hell on earth; next month or the month after, it will be somewhere else where people face an apocalypse -- an apocalypse intended, planned and executed by individuals within the government, apparently with the full backing of some of their foreign supporters,” said Hussein.
Government troops were were within firing range of the key towns of Misraba and Beit Sawa yesterday, and had taken up positions at the edges of Jisreen and Hammuriyeh.Three civilians including one child were killed in heavy air strikes on Jisreen yesterday, the Observatory said.
That brought the toll in more than two weeks of bombing to 810 civilians, including 179 children.