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Syria war: Russia and Syria air strikes 'kill 33'

23 July 2019

(Photo: Patrick Nicholson / Caritas Internationalis)

Trócaire is gravely concerned with the latest reports that at least 33 people were killed and more than 100 wounded by an airstrike on a marketplace in northern Syria on Monday, as a Syrian and Russian bombing campaign against civilian sites in the rebel-held province intensified.

A Russian-backed Syrian government offensive in the rebel-held northwest Syria has killed hundreds of people since the end of April, including several humanitarian workers.

At least 330,000 people have been displaced in the violence in the last two and a half months, representing the biggest escalation in the war since last summer.

Unfortunately, as is characteristic of the Syrian war, humanitarian and civilian facilities, including hospitals and schools, have been directly targeted by airstrike, a blatant contravention of International Humanitarian Law.

Trócaire stands in solidarity with our partner Women Now For Development working in north west Syria and the people that they are providing humanitarian assistance to.

Women Now initiate programmes, led by Syrian women, protect Syrian women and children across socio-economic backgrounds, and empower women to find their political voice and participate in building a new, peaceful Syria that respects and safeguards equal rights for all its citizens.

The subsequent impact on infrastructure used to deliver basic services, coupled with the precarious overall security situation, hampers Women Now’s provision of humanitarian services to people in need across northwest Syria.

Trócaire calls on parties to the conflict to avoid impacting humanitarian activities with military activity. Furthermore, we call on all international actors to use whatever influence they can bring to bear to ensure that

  • Ceasefire agreement guarantors Turkey and Russia abide by their commitments to the maintain demilitarized zones in north west Syria
  • The International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and especially the Istanbul group use all their diplomatic channels to come to a political solution based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 to avoid further military action

The protection of civilians in north west Syria, and across the region is a first priority for all stakeholders.

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