The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, urged an end to targeting civilians and public infrastructure in Syria, calling for more action to facilitate unhindered, unconditional and sustained access to all those in need, including besieged and hard-to-reach areas, for all types of assistance.
In a briefing to the UN Security Council held on Wednesday on the humanitarian situation in Syria, O’Brien expressed particular concern for Madaya, which he said represented only the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the extent of suffering in Syria caused by the sieges.
“In the meantime, health supplies in Madaya are dwindling fast, and recent UN and SARC (The Syrian Arab Red Crescent) requests to Syrian authorities for medical teams to enter Madaya must be approved without delay or hindrance,” he added.
O’Brien said that of the 113 requests the United Nations filed to the Assad regime to provide inter-agency aid convoys, only 10 percent were allowed to reach their destination; the regime granted preliminary permission to another 10 percent of requests, but those requested were not granted final approval. In 75 percent of cases, the Assad regime did not respond to aid requests.
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Hisham Marwa said last week that “the Assad regime’s siege and bombardment of civilians violate UN Security Council resolutions. Assad has been committing these crimes under military and political cover by Russia. Meanwhile, the Assad regime continues to deceive the international community and procrastinate with regard to the political process.”
Marwa went on to say that “Russia is now the biggest obstacle to the political process in Syria as it continues with its aggression, killing Syrian civilians and providing political cover for the illegitimate regime. Russia’s actions in Syria prove that Russia does not differ from the murderous Assad regime.”
“Assad seeks to thwart any possible political solution through besieging civilians amid the international community’s failure to enforce UN Security Council resolutions which call for lifting the siege and the delivery of aid to the besieged areas. The only solution is through providing the Free Syrian Army with the advanced weapons it needs to break the blockades and save the lives of starving civilians,” Marwa said. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Anadolu Agency)