عربي | كوردى



Aid groups say conditions in northwest Syria at crisis point

Aid groups say conditions in northwest Syria at crisis point

2019/05/18 | 01:30

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- UN officials and dozens of international aid groups warned

Friday that humanitarian conditions in Syria’s northwest have reached a new

“crisis point,” as government troops push to retake the rebels’ last

stronghold, AP reported.The violence has effectively shattered a cease-fire

negotiated by Russia and Turkey, in place since September. Russia has firmly

backed President Bashar al-Assad’s government in the eight-year civil war,

while Turkey has supported rebel factions.In their appeal issued Friday, some 70 aid groups called for

an immediate end to the fighting. They said that the violence has displaced an

estimated 180,000 people in the last two weeks alone. The rebel enclave, which

stretches between northern Hama and most of Idlib provinces, is home to 3

million people.The violence has forced at least 16 humanitarian

organizations to suspend their operations in the region, the groups added. The

staff were either displaced themselves or the facilities came under attack.In New York, the UN humanitarian chief said his worst fears

that a full-scale military onslaught in northwestern Syria would “unleash a

humanitarian nightmare unlike any we have seen” in Syria are now coming true.Mark Lowcock told a Security Council meeting that escalating

violence in the last three weeks in the de-escalation zone in rebel-held Idlib

killed up to 160 people, displaced at least 180,000 and left millions “crammed

into an ever smaller area.”UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo warned that “if the

escalation continues and the offensive pushes forward, we risk catastrophic

humanitarian fallout and threats to international peace and security.”She reiterated the UN’s call for an urgent de-escalation of

violence and urged Turkey and Russia to re-establish a cease-fire in northwest

Syria.Physicians for Human Rights said it has verified that over

the last four weeks Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have

carried out nine attacks on hospitals and medical facilities.The aid groups said that at least 15 health facilities and 16

schools were reported to have been significantly damaged or destroyed. At least

two health workers were killed.The groups said at least four clearly identified

humanitarian posts were targeted, condemning the “failure” to observe

international law.In a statement, Amnesty International called on the UN

Security Council, meeting Friday, to pressure Russia over the “deliberate”

targeting of health and education facilities and ending the “onslaught” against

civilians.“Bombing hospitals carrying out their medical functions is a

war crime,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s director of research for

the Middle East. Maalouf said it was part of a “well-established” pattern by

the Syrian government and its allies.“The international community has so far utterly failed to

protect civilians in Syria from the horrors of this conflict,” she said.Staff from four hospitals in Idlib and Hama told Amnesty

International that they had been targeted despite sharing their coordinates

with the Syrian and Russian governments.In fighting Friday, activists and insurgents said government

forces attempted to push into a new village in western Hama but were repelled.











TRENDING News



Latest News Today






Videos and Photos


TRENDING NOW