UN backs Syria peace plan after regime kills 100 civilians

15-member UNSC issues statement backing negotiations to end Syria’s crisis after regime warplanes kill 100 civilians in market place in Damascus Province

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Syrian people conduct search and drescue works at Douma neighbourhood in Damascus after regime airstrike

Updated Aug 19, 2015

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a statement’s draft backing negotiations on ending the crisis in Syria as scores were killed in recent government air strikes in an outskirt of Damascus.

The 15-member Security Council only adopts statements by consensus. The five permanent members, the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France have drafted the statement following a briefing by UN mediator in Syria Staffan de Mistura nearly three weeks ago.

The statement supports de Mistura's plan to work towards "political negotiations and a political transition" based on the Geneva Communique which was adopted by world powers in June 2012.

Since the warring groups in Syria, regime and opposition, were not ready to hold formal peace talks, de Mistura proposed inviting Syria's warring parties to take part in four UN-led working groups on how to implement a roadmap to peace including "the establishment of an inclusive transitional governing body with full executive powers".

Raids on Douma

The Syrian regime warplanes on Sunday attacked the Damascus suburb of Douma killing around 100 civilians and wounding at least 250 others in one of the bloodiest attacks since the war started in Syria in 2011.

On Monday morning, Syria's air force reportedly launched three more air strikes on Douma, according to al Jazeera. Other areas of Damascus countryside were reportedly targeted by regime warplane raids, activists said.

The UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, had condemned the attack on the market place. "I am horrified by the total disrespect for civilian life in this conflict." he said.

UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura condemned on Monday the brutal attacks on Douma. "The government's bombing of [Douma] yesterday is devastating,"  he said.

The Syrian regime on Tuesday criticized de Mistaura's neutrality after his condemnation of attacks in Douma.

The war in Syria started in 2011 in the form of anti-government demonstrations, but descended into a civil war between five main factions - the regime, the opposition, Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, ISIS, and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

As of June 30, at least 19,205 air strikes were carried out by the regime’s air force, this year alone, the SOHR reported.

The regime’s helicopters dropped at least 10,433 barrel bombs on different areas in Syria, killing more than 2,916 civilians, including 456 women and 665 children, while 18,000 other civilians were wounded.

The UN has said that some 250,000 people have been killed and an estimated 7.6 million are internally displaced. More than 5 million others have fled the country into neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, as well as Europe.

TRTWorld and agencies