The United States condemns the ongoing military offensive that the Assad regime, backed by Russia and Iran, is perpetrating against the people of Eastern Ghouta. After repeatedly delaying the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2401, which demanded a 30-day cessation of hostilities across Syria, Russia has gone on to ignore its terms and to kill innocent civilians under the false auspices of counterterrorism operations. This is the same combination of lies and indiscriminate force that Russia and the Syrian regime used to isolate and destroy Aleppo in 2016, where thousands of civilians were killed.
Between February 24 and 28, Russian military aircraft conducted at least 20 daily bombing missions in Damascus and Eastern Ghouta from Humaymim Airfield in northwest Syria. Pro-regime forces must immediately cease targeting medical infrastructure and civilians as part of the brutal campaign in Eastern Ghouta. The civilized world must not tolerate the Assad regime’s continued use of chemical weapons. The Assad regime, along with its backers in Moscow and Tehran, should adhere to UNSCR 2401, cease hostilities in and around Eastern Ghouta, and allow unfettered delivery of humanitarian aid to the nearly 400,000 innocent civilians in critical need.