Families of Kefraya and Fua Victims Hold ’Nusra’, Turkey, Qatar Responsible for the Crime
The residents of the towns of Kefraya and Fua issued a statement in which they addressed "the criminal action that targeted the unarmed refugees including children, women, and the elderly from the two towns. Approximately 130 children were martyred and more than 400 people killed and wounded. This is considered an unprecedented massacre perpetrated against children." The statement pointed out that "those who accused the Syrian army and the government of the bombing are only acquitting themselves of responsibility."
The statement read: "We, the people of the towns of Kefraya and Fua, condemn this cowardly and monstrous act. We hold the Sham Liberation Organization led by the terrorist Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, and the other armed terrorist factions which signed the agreement pledging to protect the convoys of the forcibly displaced as having primary and direct responsibility for this. They have betrayed the pact and treaty. Responsibility also falls on the State of Qatar - the regional sponsor of the agreement - and Turkey, both of which are the main sponsors and guarantors of the armed groups that signed the agreement."
It goes on to say, "These displaced people were forced to leave their land, property and past for the rest of their lives and for the future of their children because of the unjust and oppressive siege that has lasted for more than two years. They were subjected to various types of assaults, including daily bombardment of rockets and mortars, sniping of women and children, starvation and thirst, and deprivation from medicines and the most basic necessities of life. Thus, claiming the lives of thousands of civilians who confronted this systematic aggression by the Takfiris in the towns surrounding them."
The statement reiterated "this cowardly act is condemned regardless of whether it is carried out by the signatory or non-signatory factions. They bear full responsibility. This action is contrary to our true religion and to all relevant United Nations conventions and Human Rights Council conventions."
The statement also raised questions regarding the truth of what actually transpired after the buses reached the last point of exchange without any escort or follow-up by the organizations supervising the agreement. "This is suspicious. The armed groups began to procrastinate and delay the implementation of the agreement using weak excuses for two days at the crossing point, while the people faced hunger, thirst and inhumane conditions at the mercy of these armed groups," the statement added.
The statement clarified that "the pictures and recorded footage of witnesses who were present during the massacre showed that armed opposition elements were moved away before the bombing. A large number of children from Fua and Kefraya were gathered in front of a car to distribute the food they had been deprived of. This shows that these groups were aware of the bombing, and did not make any effort to spare civilians from this cowardly act, which claimed the lives of hundreds of martyrs, leaving wounded and missing."
The statement confirmed that there were cases of abduction of some young people, who were in contact with their families after the explosion, and then disappeared in the chaos.
Based on the above, the families of the martyrs, wounded and missing people of Kefraya and Fua demanded the following:
1. The armed opposition groups should hand over all those involved in committing this crime to be tried in the courts of the Syrian Republic.
2. Transfer all wounded and injured to government hospitals in the Syrian Republic.
3. Commitment of opposition groups to the rest of the terms of the agreement and fulfilling them by evacuating all those who remained in Fua and Kefraya.
4. Reveal the fate of the missing persons and abductees who disappeared after this crime.
5. International protection and guarantees for convoys coming out of Fua and Kefraya to complete the agreement.
6. Requesting from Qatar, the sponsor of the agreement and guarantor of the armed groups, to pay compensation to the families of the martyrs and to compensate the wounded and all those affected.
7. Demanding an emergency session of the Security Council to condemn the aggression and to hold the States behind this cowardly act of terrorism accountable.
8. To consider Saturday, 15 April, the day of childhood in the Syrian Arab Republic in commemoration of the children killed.
The statement concluded: "We, the families of the martyrs, thank our people who exercised the utmost restraint, abided by the teachings of our true religion, and did not retaliate against the civilians who are leaving Madaya and Zabadani. We thank the army and the allies for completing the exchange process, protecting the displaced from Madaya and Zabadani, and their commitment to the agreement as well as previous agreements. We thank the residents of the governorates of Idlib and Aleppo for their assistance in providing aid and healing the wounded as well as all those who sympathized with us. We vehemently express our support for national unity, the unity of the Syrian Republic, and the co-existence between all spectrums of Syrian society. We also express our support for the sons of our dear homeland and stand united to defeat terrorism and abolish it from our dear homeland."
On behalf of the families of martyrs:
Tahhan - Al Sheikh - Hariri - Eid - Aswad - Al Ali - Hajj Saleh - Hajj Musa - Shaqool - Mohsen - Taqi - Qarbash - Basti Al-Yusuf - Hashas, and others.