The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about renewed and intensive violence in Douma in Eastern Ghouta over the last 36 hours, following a period of relative calm. Reports include sustained airstrikes and shelling on Douma, killing of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and attacks damaging several health facilities. There has also been shelling on Damascus city, reportedly killing civilians. The Secretary-General calls on all parties to cease fighting and restore the calm that had been in place, and adhere fully to Security Council resolution 2401 (2018). He reiterates there is no military solution to the conflict.
The Secretary-General is particularly alarmed by allegations that chemical weapons have been used against civilian populations in Douma. While the United Nations is not in a position to verify these reports, the Secretary-General notes that any use of chemical weapons, if confirmed, is abhorrent, and requires a thorough investigation.
It is critical that civilians be protected. The Secretary-General calls on all sides to ensure respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, including humanitarian access across Syria to all people in need, as per relevant Security Council resolutions.