See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

#Douma_Exterminated as the World Turns Its Back on Horrific Attacks on Ghouta in Syria

Some of the damage in Ghouta, Douma, after five days of shelling. Photograph shared by @Ghota_Damas on Twitter

The horrific aftermath after five days of shelling in Ghouta, Douma. Photograph shared by Syrian activist Maher Bouidani (@Ghota_Damas) on Twitter

At least 143 civilians were killed, including 28 women and 29 children, and 370 civilians injured, 75 of which women and 60 children, following a five-day military operation led by Assad forces targeting the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta province in Douma, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said in a report.

The report attributed the attacks to the government's military forces, alleging that they have been perpetrated in retaliation after the “Al-Islam Army targeted various areas Damascus with missiles.” The report, which also based its content on 35 videos and 50 photographs it received, documenting the loss of human life and destruction, said the attacks were excessive and the use of force was unjustifiable. The human rights organization said that they:

[F]ound out that there were no rebels’ presence or any military centers or gatherings in any of the areas that was targeted by government forces. The operation didn't have distinguishable or known target[s] as neighborhoods, hospitals, markets were all targeted and citizens were killed regardless of their beliefs.

The sanguinary attacks came after a recent BBC interview with Assad. He stated that any attack perpetrated by his forces is aimed at terrorists to protect civilians.

According to the report, aerial strikes, primarily barrel bombs and missiles, destroyed dozens of residential buildings, two ambulances, schools, mosques, and the central and main medical point in Douma city.

Ambulances in Douma were reportedly targeted and destroyed by government forces on February 5 Photo source: Damascus Media Center  Facebook Page]

Ambulances in Douma were reportedly targeted by government forces and destroyed on February 5 Photo source: Damascus Media Center Facebook Page

A graphic video released by Shaam Network News on YouTube shows a distorted and bloodied young girl sitting on a hospital bed against a poorly sanitized wall. A man is heard telling the medics in Arabic that “her entire family is gone [and that] she was the only survivor.”

The attacks, which received little to no recognition from mainstream media, prompted users on social networking sites to spread awareness using the hashtags #Douma_Exterminated and #دوما_تباد in both English and Arabic interchangeably.

Twitter user Mudar Shanwan, who currently resides in Istanbul, Turkey, tweeted a photograph of civilians in Douma helping each other while walking on rubble, with the caption: “we just want to be human again.”

Twitter user Omar Halbooni also shared an aerial shot showing complete destruction:

Syrian journalist and writer Dr Ahmad Muaffaq angrily protested the global community for not adequately reacting to the news:

Our worst beats the best of yours, Douma is being exterminated and you do not react. The world is despicable.

Many users also shared graphic content of the attacks’ horrific aftermath, sharing photographs with rows of children's bodies lined on the ground for family members to claim them. Photographs of those who survived showed children covered in blood, some with body parts missing, barely recognizable.

Sharing a graphic photograph of a child with a defibrillator pressed against her chest in an attempt to restart her heart, this Twitter user said:

Rawia Alhoussaini shared photographs of her destroyed family house:

This Twitter user said that the hashtags provide the world with a grim view of what is happening in Damascus suburbs:

Twitter user Omar also added:

In a Facebook post, acclaimed Syrian artist Tammam Azzam asks:

هل أفرغ العالم كل عواطفه في مشاهدة قتل رهينة، وحرق طيار، ثم صمت عن دوما؟!!!

Did the world exhaust its emotions after watching ISIS footage killing hostages and burning pilots, and only knew silence when it came to Douma?

Dubai-based Khaled Akbik questioned the world's priorities:

Karam Foundation Director of Innovative Education Kinda Hibrawi asked where humanity went:

Our work building bridges across cultures, languages and perspectives is more urgent than ever before.

Learn more about Global Voices »

Donate now

Close