A call for action to protect civilians and health care in East Ghouta

Eastern Ghouta Under Siege Since 2013 © UNHCR/Assadullah Amin 2017 photo

Death and suffering in Eastern Ghouta, Syria: a call for action to protect civilians and health care from FXB Director Jennifer Leaning, members of the Lancet Commission on Syria, and others engaged in this issue.

Since Feb 4, 2018, Syrian forces with Russian support have bombarded Eastern Ghouta, an enclave out of government control near Damascus. This military action has killed hundreds of civilians and injured more than 1550 people as of Feb 21, 2018, in an area where about 390000 people, most of whom are civilians, have lived under siege since October, 2013. The recent escalation is reportedly part of a Syrian Government offensive supported by its Russian and Iranian allies to retake Ghouta. In just 1 day, on Feb 20, 2018, PAX, an international peace movement, documented 110 civilians killed and hundreds injured in 131 air strikes, 44 barrel bombs, 28 surface-to-surface “elephant” missiles, five cluster bombs, and countless other artillery and rocket fire. Amnesty International sees this as continuing “war crimes on an epic scale.”

Read update from Jennifer Leaning about continued bombing of Ghouta, even after UN passes resolution calling for ceasefire.

Posted 2/24/2018; new photo 3/1/2018