In a letter of complaint to the United Nations, Syria has drawn attention to a sharp rise in deadly terror attacks against civilians in Damascus and its suburbs, calling on the world body to take proper measures against countries that support and fund the armed groups.
The Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry sent the letter to the UN chief and the Security Council chairman on Tuesday, hours after militant groups stationed in the Eastern Ghouta region targeted the capital and its countryside with lethal shells, killing and injuring dozens of people, the official SANA news agency reported.
The letter condemned the attack as “a continuation of the crimes committed on daily basis by these terrorists against the citizens in Damascus,” saying they have fired more than 1,500 shells in the past seven weeks and left hundreds dead and wounded.
The ministry further accused some Western officials of directly supporting the terrorists and encouraging them to carry out attacks without fear of being held accountable.
“These officials are complicit in the terrorists’ crimes against innocent civilians in Damascus and its countryside, as they are denying the Syrian state’s right to defend its citizens, fight terrorism, and confront those who fund and arm terrorists.”
The terrorists have been slaughtering civilians over the past seven years “upon instructions from their masters” in the capitals of Western and Persian Gulf states, the letter read.
The Syrian capital has seen a spike in attacks in recent weeks from nearby regions held by militant groups.
Meanwhile, government forces have intensified their counterterrorism campaign to liberate those areas.
Elsewhere in its letter, the Foreign Ministry gave assurances that the attacks would not dissuade the government from fighting the terrorists and working to restore security to the country.
It also demanded “an immediate and stern condemnation” of the attacks by the UN, urging the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility and take action against the regimes that support and fund terrorism.
Terrorists and their supporters keep up using citizens in Eastern Ghouta and other regions as human shields, it added.
Separately, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres voiced alarm at the situation in Eastern Ghouta and called on all sides to the conflict to uphold the basic principles of humanitarian law.
“The secretary-general is deeply alarmed by the escalating situation in Eastern Ghouta and its devastating impact on civilians,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Also the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has claimed that some 250 people have been killed in Eastern Ghouta in two days of the Syrian government’s Russian-backed aerial operations against the terrorists.
Al-Nusra using civilians as ‘human shields’
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had on Monday blamed “armed provocations” by Takfiri al-Nusra Front militants for conditions in Eastern Ghouta.
The al-Nusra Front terrorists, he said, are hampering the evacuation of civilians from Eastern Ghouta, where they use them as “human shields” while keeping up attacks on Damascus’ civil facilities.
“It took enormous effort to reach agreements on medical evacuation, first of all, of children and people needing emergency medical assistance. But subsequent efforts to organize large-scale evacuation of civilians from that area encountered Jabhat al-Nusra’s refusal as it seeks to keep these people as a human shield,” Lavrov said
The top Russian diplomat also called on Western powers, which “have influence” on al-Nusra Front, to “discipline” the terror outfit because otherwise it would be “exterminated.”