Qatar yesterday warned that Syrian regime air strikes that killed more than 30 people, including children, in a town near Damascus could “torpedo” a fragile ceasefire in the country.
 “Qatar expresses its strong condemnation and concern over the massacre by Syrian regime forces targeting civilians in Deir al-Assafir... in a violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement and related UN Security Council resolutions,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.  
 “This criminal shelling... reflects the regime’s policy in killing civilians... and threatens to torpedo” the ceasefire and “international efforts to reach a political solution” to end the country’s five-year war, said the statement, carried by the official Qatar News Agency (QNA).
Qatar urged the Security Council to “assume its responsibilities to end these crimes, protect the Syrian people, and prevent (attempts to) undermine chances of reaching a political settlement to the Syrian crisis”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, reported that 33 people, including 12 children, died in air strikes on Thursday on Deir al-Assafir, a town in the opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta.
The United States said on Thursday it was “appalled” by the Syrian government air strikes and France accused the Syrian regime of violating the ceasefire and trying to undermine efforts by the international community to resolve the conflict.