Humanitarian chief deplores "tit-for-tat" airstrikes in Syria

Listen /

Families evacuated from East Ghouta, Syria, congregate in the courtyard of the Dahit Qudsayya collective shelter for basic aid. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

"Tit-for-tat" bombings that have reportedly killed hundreds of civilians in and around the Syrian capital, Damascus, are unlawful and must stop immediately, the top UN humanitarian official said Thursday.

Stephen O'Brien, who heads the UN's emergency relief agency, OCHA, made his comments to the Security Council on Thursday following a three-day visit to Syria in mid-August.

More than 250,000 people have been killed in the four-year conflict which began as a popular uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad in March 2011.

Maria Carlino reports.

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien briefed the Security Council amid reports that indiscriminate airstrikes on Damascus, the Syrian capital, and its surroundings are continuing. 

"Despite the outrage and condemnations, there has since been at least one further, similar attack. According to reports, since mid-August approximately 200 people have been killed and 400 injured in eastern Ghouta. Shelling of Damascus has also continued, reportedly killing over 30 people on 23th and 24th August. This tit-for-tat approach by the warring parties is causing devastation to the ordinary women, men and children of Syria and it must stop." 

Mr O'Brien, who heads the UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA, said he left the country "deeply saddened and outraged" at the needless suffering of ordinary Syrians.

He appealed to all warring parties to the four-year conflict to protect civilians and urged the Security Council to exert leadership to push for a political solution to end the crisis. 

The aid chief also spoke out against cuts to the water supply that left 1.7 million people in Aleppo without water in mid-July and again in early August. 

During his visit to Syria earlier this month, Mr O'Brien urged senior government officials to give aid workers full access to people in need. 

Maria Carlino, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
Loading the player ...

CONNECT

 

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031