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A medieval fortress overlooks the small predominantly Sunni town of Madiq Castle in Hama, Syria, situated on the Orontes River and along the fertile Al-Ghab plain, under opposition control today. To the south, there lies Suqaylabiya, a predominantly Christian town under regime control. Amid dramatic offensives in Eastern Ghouta and Afrin, the Russians issued a threat to 13 villages in the area, including Madiq Castle, demanding that residents accept their entry into the region – or else. This threat against civilians demonstrates a heightened level of complicity with the Assad regime in its attacks on noncombatants in Syria, one that should warrant an immediate response from those who wish to protect the most vulnerable in Syria. Terrified of a Russian and regime incursion, civilians have already begun fleeing north, many of them already displaced from other parts of the country.The fact that Russia, a signatory to the U.N. Resolution 2401 that calls for a 30-day cease-fire, both assists the Assad regime in its bombardment of Eastern Ghouta and simultaneously issues threats on its behalf to civilians demands an immediate response from the international community before these areas become "hell on earth".
The Yarmouk siege is Assad’s shame
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