On instructions from my Government, I should like to convey to you the following urgent information.

On Tuesday, 20 February 2018, armed terrorist groups fired dozens of deadly projectiles from their positions in eastern Ghutah at the city of Damascus and Rif Dimashq. At the time of writing, those projectiles have killed and injured dozens of innocent civilians. This killing machine has not spared a single street of Damascus, nor any of the capital city’s residential neighbourhoods, schools, hospitals, clinics, public service facilities, houses of worship and diplomatic missions.

This dangerous escalation by the armed terrorist groups in eastern Ghutah and the firing of more than 45 rocket-propelled projectiles at Damascus in a few hours is in line with the daily attacks those groups have perpetrated against the population of Damascus using rocket-propelled projectiles and mortar shells. More than 1,500 such projectiles were fired over the past seven weeks, killing and injuring hundreds of innocent civilians, most of whom were children and women.

The terrorist attacks coincided and were carried out in coordination with the defamatory media campaigns that are being waged by certain Western and other officials. The aim of those campaigns is to provide direct support and cover for the terrorists and to encourage them to commit more acts of terrorism and kill without fear of being held accountable. Such conduct proves yet again that government officials of certain Member States are complicit in the crimes that the terrorists have committed against innocent civilians in Damascus and Rif Dimashq. Moreover, those officials would deny the Syrian State the right to defend its citizens, combat terrorism and stand up to those who perpetrate and fund terrorism and provide arms to terrorists. The foregoing is part of the despicable, ongoing plot that they laid some seven years ago. In that time, the terrorists have carried out bombings and committed massacres throughout Syria at the behest of their leaders and controllers in the capitals of certain well-known Western and Arab Gulf countries.

The Syrian Arab Republic reaffirms that these terrorist attacks will not deter it from continuing to combat terrorism, striving to restore security and stability to the Syrian people, and rebuilding what the terrorists and their partners, financers and supporters have destroyed.

The Syrian Arab Republic calls upon the Security Council and the Secretary-General to condemn immediately and forcefully this terrorist aggression, which has been directed, in particular, at the capital, Damascus, and its defenceless population. Moreover, it urges the Security Council to fulfil its responsibility to maintain international peace and security by taking preventive and punitive measures against those regimes and governments that support and fund terrorism, with a view to implementing the relevant resolutions of the Council, including resolutions 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2199 (2015), 2253 (2015) and 2368 (2017).

The Syrian Arab Republic reaffirms that if certain Western States members of the Security Council were to prevent the Council from condemning these terrorist crimes, it would send a message to the terrorists and the regimes that support them that they can continue to commit acts of terrorism and crimes against the Syrian people. It would also say to the terrorist organizations that they can continue to hold hostage to terrorism the people of eastern Ghutah and other parts of the country and to besiege them from within and use them as human shields, in order to serve the interests of those organizations and their supporters.

I should be grateful if these identical letters could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.