SYRIA - STOP BOMBING CIVILIANS: An Irish response to the Syrian East Ghouta Humanitarian Crisis

Press Conference, 11.30am, Tuesday 06 March, Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin

An Irish response to the Syrian East Ghouta Humanitarian Crisis

Joan Collins T.D, Senator Ivana Bacik, Ibrahim Halawa, Irish Anti-war Movement (IAWM), Irish Syria Solidarity Movement (ISSM)

(Contributions will also be made by two displaced Syrians living in Ireland and representatives from humanitarian groups working on the ground in Syria)

WE CONDEMN:
● THE INDISCRIMINATE BOMBING OF CIVILIANS AND CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE BY THE SYRIAN REGIME AND BY RUSSIAN FORCES THAT HAVE LEFT HUNDREDS DEAD IN JUST TWO WEEKS
● THE DELIBERATE TARGETING OF MEDICAL AND RESCUE INFRASTRUCTURE AND PERSONNEL
● THE USE OF STARVATION SIEGES AGAINST THE POPULATION OF EAST GHOUTA SINCE 2013

WE CALL FOR:
● ALL BOMBING IN SYRIA TO CEASE IMMEDIATELY AND FOR THE IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION AND INDEFINITE EXTENSION OF THE UN CEASEFIRE (SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 2401)
● A COMPREHENSIVE UN-LED HUMANITARIAN RELIEF OPERATION TO BE PUT IN PLACE IMMEDIATELY FOR GHOUTA
● SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES TO BE STEPPED UP BY IRISH AND EU GOVERNMENTS

As individuals and organisations, we have varying views and perspectives and certain nuances regarding the Syrian conflict. However, we are united in our view that at the heart of this conflict is a popular - and initially peaceful - civilian revolt that began in 2011 against a ruthless dictator in the form of Bashar al Assad. We completely acknowledge that this crisis has been massively complicated by the cynical and self-serving interventions of the Assad regime itself as well as many regional and international actors.

We hope to be able to offer suggestions for what can be done from an Irish perspective to end the appalling tragedy that is unfolding before us as reported in the media.

Whatever about the long term prospects for peace and justice in Syria something must be done immediately about the urgent crisis in East Ghouta. We send a message of solidarity to the brave Syrian population who are suffering under an incredible military barrage.

For info contact:
Michael Lenehan, Irish Syria Solidarity Movement: Tel. 087 7429849
John Molyneux, Secretary Steering Committee IAWM: Tel. 085 7356424
Leonie O’Dowd, Irish Syria Solidarity Movement: Tel. 086 3669810
Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee IAWM: Tel. 087 6472737

END