In a statement on Tuesday, the UN called for an immediate cessation of all fire in Syria, warning of the dire humanitarian crisis existing throughout the country. In addition, the organization said its Fact Finding Mission is currently looking into allegations of chemical weapon use in Idlib.
Syria’s Douma after an airstrike Photo Credit: EPA-EFE
The United Nations called for an immediate ceasfaire for at least one month throughout Syria in a statement released on Tuesday. The UN’s humanitarian team in the country warned of the current crisis in numerous locations.
In the statement, the UN addressed the ongoing conflict in the northern district of Afrin, where Turkey’s military has waged an offensive against Kurdish rebel groups in the area. The organization said that the blocking of the region’s exits by military forces has trapped many civilians in a dangerous war zone and prevented them from accessing safer areas.
The UN also addressed the crisis in the rebel-held region of Idlib, where President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have recently conducted several airstrikes. It stressed that civilians in the area remain without access to much needed humanitarian supplies and medical treatment.
In a separate statement on Monday, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affair Izumi Nakamitsu briefed the Security Council of recent reports concerning the use of chemical weapons and efforts undertaken to look into them. “New reports by the FFM [Fact Finding Mission] are pending,” said Nakamitsu. “Should they conclude that there has been the use, or likely use, of chemical weapons in any of these alleged incidents, our obligation to enact a meaningful response will be further intensified.”
As previously reported by JOL, there have several claims that at least five people were treated for chlorine gas poisoning after “a bad smell” spread in the town of Saraqeb during an airstrike on Sunday. At least ten people were reportedly killed in the attacks in Idlib and dozens were injured.