New York, NY, July 30, 2019 — Rehana Zawar, the International Rescue Committee’s Syria Country Director, said: “The horrors in Northwest Syria, described at the UN Security Council meeting today, demonstrate the urgency for a UN investigation into how health facilities, schools and markets have become the primary targets of the current escalation in violence in the country. IRC teams on the ground are witnessing the impact of these atrocities every day.
“These latest attacks--which have killed nearly 500 civilians, including at least 140 children since the end of April--occurred in civilian locations that are protected under international humanitarian law, and were part of the UN “deconfliction” process, meant to add an extra level of security against such attacks. The increase in violence in Idlib is taking the heaviest toll on civilians, straining infrastructure and essential services in areas that are already hosting large numbers of internally displaced people.
“We strongly urge the UN Secretary-General to conduct an investigation into the current spate of attacks in Northwest Syria and to require that such an investigation identify the parties responsible and ensure they are held to account.”
Since the start of May the increase of air attacks in northwest Syria have forced 440,000 people to be displaced, including 75,000 in July alone. The IRC is working to support these families with access to healthcare, cash and other vital services. Across Syria, the IRC provides lifesaving support and last year alone reached close to one million people—half of them children—who are struggling to survive the war.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.