The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament has called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria.
Speaking after the bombing by Syrian government forces of the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area outside Damascus, S&D Group vice-president on foreign affairs, Victor Boştinaru, said the “humanitarian situation is out of control and the access to aid has once again been denied”.
“The inhabitants of Eastern Ghouta are under siege by the Syrian regime since 2013,” he explained. “It is one of the last rebel bastions escaping to the regime’s control. After allegations of multiple uses of chlorine by the regime in the last weeks, and a siege that has worsened since December provoking the death, wounding and starvation of hundreds of people, the regime has further intensified air strikes in the last 24 hours, targeting civilians and infrastructures.”
According to data presented by S&D, 94 deaths have been reported so far by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, including 20 children.
“The warning signs of this humanitarian catastrophe in Ghouta have been there for a long while, but the world has chosen to turn a blind eye. It seems that the international community will stand-by and watch yet again the slaughtering of Syrian people by Assad with the support of Russian and Iranian forces, as they did in Aleppo.”
This is why S&D has called on all parties of the conflict, as well as the guarantors of the four de-escalation zones, to take all the necessary measures to ensure an immediate ceasefire, the protection of the Syrian people, respect of the International Humanitarian Law, and urgent humanitarian access.
“The only bridge to the future for the Syrian people is a ceasefire and a UN-led political solution, which includes UN monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.”