Irish Anti War Movement statement on the slaughter in Eastern Ghouta

IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT (IAWM) PRESS RELEASE: 21 FEBRUARY 2018

Irish Anti War Movement statement on the slaughter in Eastern Ghouta

The Irish Anti-War Movement said today that the slaughter that is now taking place in Eastern Ghouta, as a result of the bombing of the civilian population by the Russian-backed Assad regime is utterly horrific and should stop immediately. While accurate casualty figures are difficult to ascertain it is clear that hundreds of lives, among them large numbers of children, have being lost.

The ‘explanation’ offered by the Assad regime that they are responding to the killing of six people in government-controlled areas of eastern Damascus earlier this week by shells fired from Eastern Ghouta is not acceptable. Even if it were true the response would be completely disproportionate. The Syrian military said it carried out "precision strikes" on areas from which the shells were launched. This claim is laughable and no more credible than such claims made by the US when bombing Iraq or Afghanistan.

“In reality the massacre in Eastern Ghouta, an area containing 400,000 people, is a continuation of the policy pursued by the tyrannical Assad regime for over six years - of killing any Syrians who do not accept its rule. This policy along with interventions by foreign militaries, has resulted in the death of approximately 500,000 citizens and the displacement of millions more” said John Molyneux, Secretary of the IAWM Steering Committee.

He continued:

“But, however, strongly we condemn this particular atrocity in Eastern Ghouta and the actions of Assad and his Russian backers, we must also look at the wider picture. Syria and its people have been subject to attacks and invasions by both the world’s superpowers – Russia AND the USA – and by various regional powers – Turkey, Iran and Israel. None of these interventions have been motivated by solidarity with the Syrian people: all are attempts to carve out spheres of imperial and sub-imperial influence in the Middle East. In fact since the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003, opposed by over 100,000 people on the streets of Dublin and millions worldwide, the Middle East has become a continuous catastrophic war zone. We in the Irish Anti-War Movement and the international peace movement warned that this would happen and, tragically, we were right.”

Jim Roche, Secretary of the IAWM Steering Committee, added:

“The IAWM has long held the view that the so-called Syrian civil war is in fact a proxy war between the world powers of the USA and America with various regional powers taking one or the other side. The horrific anti-human destruction now being played out in Eastern Ghouta is yet another element in this wider conflagration where ordinary Syrian citizens are caught in the middle of these militaristic power games. We have long called for an immediate ceasefire and meaningful negotiations for permanent peace. What appears to be happening now is that Russia and the Syrian Regime are using a minor offensive by the rebels to effectively indiscriminately bomb an entire urban area with no consideration for the casualties. Sadly this has been a characteristic perpetrated by all sides in this 7-year war.”

The Irish Anti-War Movement calls for an immediate end to the bombing of Eastern Ghouta, for an end to the senseless war on the Syrian people and to ALL foreign interventions.

We also call on the EU and the Irish government to end their shameful response to the refugee crisis which is resulting in mass deaths in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. If the expressions of concern about Syria are not empty and hypocritical then European Governments, including the Irish Government, must start actually welcoming refugees to Europe and treating them with dignity when they get here by for example ending the cruel Direct Provision system.

END

Contact:
John Molyneux, Secretary, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 085 735 6424
Jim Roche, PRO, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 647 2737
Michael Youlton, Chair, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 815 9487
Fatin Tamini, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 0267721
Edward Horgan, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 085 851 9623
Glenda Cimino, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 124 9456
Memet Uludag, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 7919307

For more information on the IAWM see:

Website - www.irishantiwar.org

@IrishAntiWarMvt https://twitter.com/#!/IrishAntiWarMvt

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