UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has firmly stated that the Hell on Earth for the civilians of Eastern Ghouta must come to an abrupt end and the 30-day ceasefire resolution of UN must be implemented with immediate effect. He reminded all parties to respect their obligations to international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and civil infrastructure at all times. He reiterated that any efforts by nations to fight terrorism also does not supercede these obligations.
These remarks by UN Chief were due to accusations by medicos of Syria that the government launched a chlorine gas attack in the town of Al-Shifaniyah in Eastern Ghouta. After the UN Ceasefire agreement, Assad’s forces began a ground offensive on multiple fronts to gain entry into the rebel enclave. The ground offensive has claimed 16 lives in Douma, Eastern Ghouta. Russian foreign ministry has denied the use of gas in the offensive.
The major rebel factions in Eastern Ghouta are Jaish al-Islam and Failaq al-Rahman in addition to Tahrir al-Sham.