UN rights chief condemns rise in civilian casualties in Eastern Ghouta region of Syria

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, on Wednesday condemned the rise in civilian casualties in the Eastern Ghouta region of Syria resulting from the recent increase in airstrikes and ground-based attacks by government forces and its allies, highlighting that all parties are “obliged under international law to distinguish between lawful military targets, and civilians and civilian objects.”

Zeid also expressed “grave concern” about the situation of an estimated two million people in the Idlib governorate of Syria where tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced due to increased clashes between government forces and its allies, and the Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham alliance of armed opposition groups that controls much of the Idlib area. Many of these civilians were already previously displaced from the Hama and Aleppo governorates.

Airstrikes and ground-based attacks on on Tuesday have reportedly killed at least 13 civilians, including four women, four boys and three girls in a residential area of opposition-controlled Hamourya. Similar strikes in a residential area in the opposition-held town of Duma reportedly killed twelve civilians including five boys and a girl. On 4 January, a rocket fired into Old Damascus hit the vicinity of a bakery killing 14 civilians.

As carried in j

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