By Ahmed al-Masri
Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has decried relentless regime attacks on Syria's Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta as "crimes against humanity".
"Regardless of political differences, what is going on in Eastern Ghouta is a crime against humanity," Tamim said on Twitter on Saturday.
He said the protection of civilians in the besieged district "remains the responsibility of the international community which it cannot evade".
On Friday, the UN Security Council failed to endorse a draft resolution to enforce a humanitarian truce in the suburb.
Home to 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege since 2012, bringing it to the verge of humanitarian catastrophe.
In the past eight months, Syrian regime forces have intensified their siege, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district, and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.
Regime forces have intensified their attacks on the suburb in recent days, killing at least 462 people, including at least 99 children, and injuring hundreds over the past week, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group on Friday.
Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.