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UN calls for political transition to end Syria crisis

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United Nations: The UN Security Council has condemned attacks against civilians in Syria and underscored the need for a political transition to end the conflict that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the country.

2015-08-19_0048The conflict in Syria was discussed in a UN Security Council session convened late on Monday, a day after the Syrian air force bombed the city of Duma, killing 96 people and wounding 240, Efe reported.

Without directly referring to the attack, the Council passed a resolution reiterating its stance of a political solution in Syria.

The document stresses, “the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people”, and urges “all parties to work diligently and constructively towards this goal”.

It also demands “all parties cease any attacks against civilians as such, as well as any indiscriminate use of weapons in populated areas, including such use involving shelling and barrel bombs.”

This political transition, the document reads, must meet “the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enable them independently and democratically to determine their future, including through the establishment of an inclusive transitional governing body with full executive powers.”

Calling the Syrian crisis “the largest humanitarian emergency crisis in the world today, threatening peace and security in the region,” the resolution says, “at least 250,000 have been killed, including well over 10,000 children, and 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes,” due to the armed conflict that began in 2011.

(IANS)

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Syria Uses Familiar Tactic in Rebel Idlib: Bombing Civilians

The United Nations is demanding an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians

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Syria, Rebel, Idlib
FILE - Destruction is seen around the Udai hospital following airstrikes on the town of Saraqeb in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, Jan. 29, 2018. VOA

The United Nations is demanding an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in northwest Syria, warning the warring parties their actions might amount to war crimes.

U.N. agencies say an intense military escalation by Russian-backed Syrian forces and armed rebels in northwest Syria is having a catastrophic impact on the civilian population. Agencies confirm at least 160 civilians have been killed and hundreds more wounded in fighting over recent weeks.

They say 3 million people in Idlib need protection and 300,000 civilians who have fled their homes in the past two months are in imminent danger.

 

Spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Jens Laerke says civilians and civilian infrastructure are coming under daily attack by airstrikes, artillery shelling and barrel bombs.

Syria, Rebel, Idlib
FILE – Damage is seen at a hospital after an airstrike in Deir al-Sharqi village in Idlib province, Syria, April 27 2017. VOA

“Since the 28th of April, there have been 25 confirmed attacks on health care in the northwest, including on 24 health facilities and one ambulance,” he said. “Two of the attacked health facilities were hit more than once, and at least six health workers have been killed.”

Laerke says health care facilities are fully protected under international humanitarian law, and it is illegal to target them. Few health facilities remain intact to care for the sick and wounded, he told VOA.

“Already before the recent months of escalation, the status of health care in Syria at large, and in particular in Idlib, was already appalling,” he said. “Even though those facilities have not been hit, they fear that they may be hit. So, the doctors, the health care personnel are leaving, the patients are not going to those hospitals. Understandably.”

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Laerke says aid agencies are providing food and health services through mobile clinics to people who are newly displaced in northwest Syria. In addition, many schools in the region have been attacked, he says, so catch-up classes are being provided for thousands of children who have been out of school since May. (VOA)