East Ghouta (Syria) – a new Srebrenica?

Every day, Syrian government troops bombard the rebel area
East Ghuta. 400,000 people are trapped there, the humanitarian
situation is dramatic. An end to the suffering is not foreseeable.

The Assad regime attacked a residential suburb of Damascus with chlorine gas on Thursday, according to the White Helmets, a Syrian non-governmental civil defense organization.

Numerous civilians, including children, had been injured in the attack, which targeted the opposition city Duma in the eastern district of Ghouta. UN Special Representative Staffan de Mistura and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of a massacre.

Firas Darwisch. Weißhelm volunteer in East Ghouta compares East Ghouta with the Bosnian Srebrenica. Here, the UN protection zone was overrun in 1995 by Bosnian Serbs, who in the Srebrenica massacre abducted and murdered all the males they could capture – probably more than 8,000.

Firas Darwish, Weißhelm Volunteer:

"Actually, we can only hope that the international community is doing something to stop this genocide – that's the new Srebrenica – to stop this regime's continued killing, backed by the Russians."

Not just Eastern activists -Ghouta, but also government-loyal Syrian media report that Russian jets are involved in the attacks A source in the Moscow Ministry of Defense confirmed to media (newspaper "RBK"), Russian fighters are on Eastern Ghouta in use, whether they drop bombs, let the informant, however, openly.The leadership in Moscow shows an involvement in the fighting of itself.

The intense shelling de Syrian government troops in eastern Ghoutas have been arresting since Sunday, claiming the lives of at least 335 civilians and more than 1,700 wounded, according to a report by the Syrian Human Rights Observatory (OSDH).

Dmitriy Frolovskiy, political analyst, Moscow:

The rebels, who are involved in internal struggles and divisions in Syria, have their own agenda in terms of religious or ethnic divisions. So I think that it is very tricky to say – who is right and who is wrong. I think we should pay more respect to each side and their interests. "


Syrian government troops have been besieging the area since 2013, with goods, if any, only entering smugglers' tunnels. Ghouta is almost completely sealed off from the outside world Because of the blockade, food is scarce, electricity is not available anyway, gasoline for generators is becoming more and more expensive.

Auxiliary transports are barely allowed to go to East Ghouta A week ago a convoy reached the region the first after more than two months.Onboard the trucks were just goods for 7,200 of the 400,000 people in the area.

According to the Russian Middle East expert Anton Mardassow head of the Department of Middle East Studies at the Institute there are hardly any terror groups for innovative developments in Moscow. "East Ghouta is a large Sunni-dominated opposition district near the Ha uptstadt. In reality, the pro-government troops are campaigning against the moderate opposition. "


The" White Helmets "are a private civil defense organization funded by volunteers in Syria, mainly with Western funding.

According to the organization, 2016 Around 2,850 volunteers were active at 114 stations in the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Rif Dimashq and Daraa.

The civil war in Syria in March 2011 sparked protests against the authoritarian government of the ruler Bashar al-Assad started The region of East Ghouta is one of the last areas still under the control of rebels.

Sigrid Ulrich with dpa

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