Syrian Coalition Condemns Burning of Crops; Calls on Int’l Community to Protect Food Security
The Syrian Coalition condemned the burning of vital agricultural crops in the Syrian Desert and eastern Syria as it called on the international community to intervene to prevent the spread of fires aimed at starving and worsening the suffering of the Syrian civilians.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Coalition said that the deliberate burning of vital agricultural crops is a criminal, terrorist, reprehensible act as well as part of the war crimes being committed against the Syrian people.
The Coalition called on the international community to provide help in the extinguishing of the fires, especially as they threaten to destroy the most vital crops in Syria.
“The perpetrators of this criminal act know exactly that what they are doing, namely the targeting of all components of the Syrian people; threatening the country's food security; and taking part in the starvation of the Syrian people and increasing their suffering.”
The Coalition noted that the crop fires that have been raging in the Syrian Desert and eastern Syria in recent weeks and the resulting enormous losses may lead to a major economic, humanitarian disaster. The repeated fires and their geographic distribution raise strong suspicions.
“It is imperative, therefore, to launch an urgent investigation and examine the available evidence and listen to the eyewitness accounts.”
Moreover, the Coalition said that it was closely following the situation as it is working on the formation of an independent committee with the participation of the Syrian Interim Government to investigate these fires.
The Coalition stressed that whoever the parties responsible for these fires will not be able to escape punishment. The de facto authority in these areas and its militias bear primary responsibility as they refused Turkish and White Helmets offers for help in the extinguishing of the fires.
“It is a disaster of epic proportions as the burning of thousands of hectares of wheat and barley crops have caused heavy losses. It also raises questions on the goals behind the starvation and impoverishment of the Syrian people.
The international community and donor states need to address this issue seriously by punishing the perpetrators; compensate those affected; and enable them to cope with the disaster.”
The Coalition went on: “It is imperative that the active states realize their responsibilities with regards to the situation in Syria. The chaos and devastation being caused by the Assad regime and its allies, including the de facto authority and the terrorist militias, would not have taken place had the world fulfilled its obligations and assumed its responsibilities towards the maintenance of international peace and security.”
Fires and arson in northeastern Syria have ravaged thousands of hectares of agricultural land with the beginning of the harvest season of the wheat and barley crops. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)