The Assad government’s latest explosive attack on the suburban town of Douma on Sunday 16 August is a despicable act of state initiated aggression as is unequivocally condemned. This attack has killed more than 120 people, the majority of who were innocent civilians. At least two bombs struck a marketplace in the opposition-held enclave of Douma on Sunday, the first day of the working week. The second hit as rescuers arrived to deal with the casualties.
The Assad government is using bombs as an instrument of terror against innocent Syrian civilians and this attack was one of the deadliest raids of the four-year civil war. It is beyond comprehension and deeply saddening that in a country with such a rich tapestry of Islamic heritage and significance, the death toll due to civil war is so high that Syrians are unable to conduct funeral prayers for many of their loved ones. In many instances, they cannot even afford to have a single tomb for every person killed.
The international community must come together to end the horrific use of barrel bombs and other explosives on civilians in Syria. Procrastination or inaction is simply not an option. This latest wave of indiscriminate bombings in civilian areas has killed hundreds of people and destroyed schools, mosques, hospitals and markets. More than 60% of the Old City has also been destroyed.
According to the UN’s most senior humanitarian official, it is estimated that more than 240,000 people have been killed through explosives in the last four years of this deplorable conflict. Some 11.5 million – more than half of the country’s population – have fled their homes and are living in dire conditions. The regional and international players must find a solution to the crisis because the truth is that the Syrian conflict has not been contained.
The conflict has spread throughout the region, it is the nexus of the Sunni-Shia clash in the Middle East and a recruitment tool for radicalisation whose consequences are felt throughout the globe. It is imperative that in our condemnation of the terrorism that has plighted our world. we are just as vocal and active in speaking out against state aggression like this that leaves hundreds of thousands dead and millions more displaced.
By Qari Muhammad Asim
Senior Imam – Makkah Mosque, Leeds
Note: The views expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect that of ImamsOnline.