Activists and civic and political groups in the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa have launched an online campaign on social media sites to highlight the suffering of civilians living in the ISIS-held parts of the two provinces. The campaign called on the United Nations to ensure civilian protection airstrikes and military operations targeting the ISIS extremist group continue to cause civilian casualties.
Organizers of the campaign said that the exclusion of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa from the nationwide ceasefire means the continuation of bombings and massacres against civilians in these two provinces.
The campaign called for protecting civilians from ISIS and sparing them the airstrikes by the Assad regime, Russian forces, and the international anti-ISIS coalition. The presence of ISIS in these two provinces must not justify attacks on civilians or consider them a social base for the ISIS extremist group, the campaign stressed.
Organizers of the campaign pointed out that they aim to highlight the suffering of civilians in the ISIS-held areas and those who fled these areas, especially that those people are usually accused of endorsing ISIS’s extremist ideology. The organizers called on all armed groups battling ISIS to respect civilians fleeing the eastern regions and not to assume they support ISIS.
Last week, activists in the city of Deir Ezzor called for sparing civilians and ceasing the bombing of the city. They denied claims that civilians in the city constitute a social base for ISIS or its extremist ideology.
A statement signed by activists, intellectuals and civil, social, media, religious, political, and revolutionary bodies in Deir Ezzor province called for “stopping the killing of our brothers, children and our women in Deir Ezzor.”
(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Smart News Network / 12.01.2017)