NYCFPA: Latest Attacks on Idlib Worsening Already Dire Humanitarian Situation

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The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs expressed its grave concern regarding the ongoing assaults by Syrian government forces backed by Russia that began in February 2019 against densely-populated areas, medical and health facilities, and schools in Idlib province, the northwestern corner of Syria.

As reported, these reprehensible attacks killed and injured thousands of civilians and led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands. The situation worsens by the day, coinciding with humanitarian organizations’ taking on substantial damage and/or suspending their operations in
the area.

On November 6, forces linked to the Syrian government resumed fighting by deliberately launching a series of attacks on civilian areas and humanitarian facilities that killed 12 and injured 40. This flagrantly violates international humanitarian law and undermines efforts to provide
humanitarian assistance to the civilian population.

The Syrian government has been using notorious barrel bombs in Idlib for years, which are indiscriminate and have a hugely destructive impact on densely populated areas. Although similar unlawful actions were previously committed in other Syrian cities like Aleppo and Ghouta, in Idlib the situation is different. Half of its inhabitants are already displaced from other cities and have no other place to seek refuge due to restrictions on movement including a closed Turkish border.

NYCFPA continues to urge the U.S. government and the international community, starting with the United Nations, to do everything in their power to end the humanitarian peril faced by thousands of civilians in Idlib, and to hold accountable the perpetrators of war crimes. NYCFPA furthermore calls on Turkey to provide assistance to Syrian refugees by opening its borders and working with the U.S. and the UN to create a safe zone on both sides of its border.

“The U.S. government should pressure the Syrian regime to cease waging war in civilian areas and to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, including not targeting civilians and allowing the work of humanitarian organizations under all circumstances,” said NYCFPA in a
statement.

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