By Yusuf Ozcan
PARIS (AA) - France’s defense minister on Friday expressed grave concern over intensified airstrikes by the Assad regime and Russian forces in Syria, urging them to stop their attacks on civilians.
Speaking to France Inter Radio, Florence Parly said that they are very worried about the attacks on civilians in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta and the northwestern province of Idlib, adding: “Of course, we want these attacks to be stopped. We demanded it several times.”
Decrying the attacks on civilians, Parly said: “These attacks are unacceptable in terms of violence and consequences to the people.”
Parly also called for the opening of humanitarian corridors.
Syrian regime forces have been carrying out intensified airstrikes on both areas in recent days, killing dozens of civilians and injuring hundreds more.
Located on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, Eastern Ghouta was declared a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are forbidden.
The Syrian regime, however, has repeatedly violated its status and targeted residential areas in the city, killing over 500 people and leaving around 2,000 others injured since the turn of the year.
Home to roughly 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years.
Moreover, Idlib also falls within the same network of de-escalation zones, endorsed by Turkey, Russia, and Iran.
Controlled largely by anti-regime groups, Idlib has been the target of intense airstrikes for the last two months. In January alone, 211 civilians were killed in the province while another 1,447 were injured.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.