United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for special consideration to be taken for civilians trapped in Raqqa as ongoing military operation to capture the city from ISIS caused exodus of civilians who are being hit with lethal weapons, including with white phosphorus.
“I make an urgent appeal to all those conducting military operations in Syria to do everything in their power to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure,” Guterres said in a statement on Wednesday.
The UN chief added that he remained “deeply alarmed at the depths of human suffering being endured across Syria,” noting that he was “particularly concerned about the perilous situation for civilians in Raqqa who are trapped and face threats from every direction.”
Guterres called on all sides of the conflict to allow improved humanitarian access to allow aid to reach those in urgent need of life-saving assistance without delay. He expressed alarm that “civilians continue to be killed, injured and displaced at a terrifying rate.’
Last week, UN war crimes investigators voiced concern about the “staggering” numbers of civilian deaths in the battle for Raqqa. Guterres said these were “very serious” developments that could further exacerbate the situation in Syria after the six years of the war the Assad regime has waged on the Syrian people and which has killed more than 320,000 people. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)