Friday, 21 June 2019 15:07

Crop Fires in Syria are Crimes Targeting Food Security

Press release
Syrian Coalition - Syria
Department of Media and Communications
June 21, 2019

 


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.

The Syrian Coalition stresses 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 international community has a duty 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 Syrian Coalition is 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. It stresses 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.

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.

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