Syria: ‘Glimmers of humanity’ overshadowed by brutality of attacks on civilians, says...
Syria: ‘Glimmers of humanity’ overshadowed by...
“The Secretary-General has said time and again that there will be no military end to this conflict. Yet, military might continues to be used against civilians in a way that defies all reason, let alone morality or the law,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council.
“The humanitarian situation is deteriorating, if that were possible, and the need for active engagement by members of the [Security] Council is urgently needed,” he said.
The core needs of the Syrian people from the international community remain largely unchanged, noting that they include the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure by all parties to the conflict; immediate, unimpeded and sustained access to all in need throughout Syria; an immediate lifting of all sieges; and a political solution to the conflict.
In besieged eastern Ghouta, outside Damascus, civilians remain trapped amid reports of relentless shelling, airstrikes, and ground fighting, he said, noting that the last informal access routes have reportedly been closed further restricting movement for the some 400,000 people who live in the area, and who the UN has been unable to access since October last year.
As the noose has tightened around eastern Ghouta, some 30,000 people in the adjacent areas of Barza and Qaboun have also come under siege by the Government of Syria, he added.
Although the overall number of those besieged has been reduced to just over 620,000 people due to evacuations, this process is not in line with humanitarian principles, and not conducted in consultation with the people affected.
“Let us not pretend that those who evacuate move to a location of safety. Many of those who displace to Idlib or northern Aleppo continue to live in areas where civilian structures, including hospitals, come under regular aerial bombardment, and their access to basic goods such as food and shelter is limited,” he said.
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