People hide in basements during intense bombings on Eastern Ghouta despite ceasefire

تحرير أمنة رياض | ترجمة سمارة بلبول | تحرير الترجمة Vera Halvorsen 🕔 تم النشر بتاريخ : 25 فبراير، 2018 10:39:22 م خبر عسكريإغاثي وإنساني جريمة حرب

Damascus Suburbs - SMART

The people of Eastern Ghouta can only see the sky for a few hours a day despite the 30-day ceasefire that was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council on Sunday. The Syrian government violated the ceasefire shortly after its announcement, forcing the people of Ghouta to descend back down to their basements. The basements became shelters for the families of Eastern Ghouta when the bombings escalated on Sunday, Feb. 18, but the basements are poor

Abdullah al-Hafi, a field activist in Ghouta, reported that after the announcement of the ceasefire, most of the people of Ghouta preferred to stay in their basements to sleep in peace.

At dawn, many families went out into the street, similar to the first day of the Eid celebrations after a month of fasting. However, at 7 am, the loyalist forces started bombing again, forcing the families to go back down the basements. The government forces bombed from the air and shelled with mortars, killing ang injuring several civilians, according to al-Hafi.

Al-Hafi added that the living conditions in the basements of Ghouta are very bad, as most basements are not designed for people to live in. Local councils and humanitarian relief organizations struggle to provide the people of the besieged Ghouta with food and assistance due to the continuous bombings.

Another activist refuses to call the basements shelters, saying that “the word "shelter" has a different meaning than basement. A shelter is an equipped and safe location underground, in which a human can seek refuge [...] In Ghouta, there are basements that lack running water, electricity, and food. Not all families in Ghouta have access to food, and have only one bread loaf to share per day.”

Habiba, one of the besieged people in Eastern Ghouta, said that the families in the basement where they hide do not dare go outside, despite the ceasefire, because they do not trust the government. Habiba is more worried about her child, who is hiding with her in the basement, than she is worried about herself.

She added, “When food is distributed, we eat. Otherwise we don’t [...] I woke up hungry last night, and I couldn’t go back to sleep because of it."

Ward, an activists in Eastern Ghouta, described the situation in a satire on her Facebook account. She wrote, “I report from my location that the pilot does not want to take a day off. Here he is, bombing. The missile launchers are bombing, too. They only target civilians. The situation in Ghouta is worse than before. Families have lost hope since the announcement of the ceasefire. They had been looking forward to leaving their basements...”

Yesterday, the UN Security Council announced a 30-day ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta. The member states called on the Syrian government to implement the ceasefire, which was agreed upon unanimously and became active immediately.

The government violated the ceasefire only hours later, killing 24 civilians and injuring others in Eastern Ghouta. The government used poisonous chlorine gas in al-Shifuniya, which is controlled by the Army of Islam. The gas suffocated several people, while the government attempted to storm Ghouta enclave from different directions, according to the Civil Defense and activists.

Several fighting factions in Syria accepted the ceasefire. The High Negotiations Committee, which was formed after the Riyadh 2 conference, said that the UN Security Council will lose its credibility because they do not have an implementation strategy for the ceasefire. The Committee did not exclude the chances of the Syrian government violating the ceasefire, and added, “it has happened before, because the government is immune from punishment and accountability.”

الاخبار المتعلقة

تحرير أمنة رياض | ترجمة سمارة بلبول | تحرير الترجمة Vera Halvorsen 🕔 تم النشر بتاريخ : 25 فبراير، 2018 10:39:22 م خبر عسكريإغاثي وإنساني جريمة حرب
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