US welcomes medical evacuations in E. Ghouta

The US welcomed late Friday the “urgent and long awaited” medical evacuations that took place over the past 48 hours in Eastern Ghouta in Syria.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement “we also extend our gratitude to the humanitarian and medical professionals on the ground for their compassion and tireless work,” saying “their dedication and efforts to save lives in the most difficult of environments illustrate the best in humanity.” She stressed that “although the evacuation and treatment of 29 of the more than 600 critically ill patients is a step in the right direction, the United States remains extremely concerned about the dire situation in Eastern Ghouta and the continued ruthless siege by the Assad regime.

“Hundreds in the besieged area still await medical evacuation, and many have died as they wait. It is a cruel reminder of the regime’s unbridled brutality,” she remarked.

She noted that in Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian regime “continues to deliberately use tactics to starve Syrian civilians, including women and children, block humanitarian aid and critically needed medical supplies, and bomb hospitals, medical personnel, and first responders, all to preserve its grasp on power. No aid convoys were given access during the entire month of December.” Nauert stressed that “Bashar Al-Assad and his regime continue to regard the lives of the Syrian people as nothing more than bargaining chips.

“We repeat our call on Russia to live up to its obligations to ensure that the Assad regime ends these barbaric attacks against civilians in Syria. The Syrian regime must allow all medical evacuations in the besieged area, as well as the flow of medical supplies and humanitarian aid,” she remarked.

She added “now, more than ever, Russia and the international community must vigorously support unhindered humanitarian access to all of Syria and pressure the Assad regime to credibly negotiate a lasting political resolution to the conflict through the UN-led Geneva process”.

Source: Kuwait News Agency