Syria: Latest Report to Security Council Highlights Continued Atrocities and Breaches of International Humanitarian Law


As the brutal crisis in Syria enters into its fifth year, calls for the protection of civilians and improved humanitarian access continue to be ignored by all parties. In a briefing to the Security Council, delivered on behalf of Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos, UN Deputy Humanitarian Chief Kyung-wha Kang highlighted a litany of failings by all sides and renewed the humanitarian community’s call for a political end to the conflict.

“[Security Council] Resolution 2139 called for an end to the indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment and the use of barrel bombs,” said Ms. Kang. “But the call continues to be ignored.”

Resolution 2139 was unanimously adopted by the Security Council in February 2014. It called on all parties to increase humanitarian access, to cease attacks against civilians and lift sieges of populated areas.

However, according to actors on the ground, Government forces have continued to conduct airstrikes in populated areas. Similarly, armed opposition groups and designated terrorist groups have persisted with their practice of using explosive weapons in populated areas.

“Hospitals and schools have not been spared”
Ms. Kang cited examples of the unrelenting impact of the conflict on Syria’s remaining social infrastructure.

“Infrastructure for essential services continues to come under deliberate and indiscriminate attack. For example, for nearly two weeks [the designated terrorist group] Al Nusra Front has cut water supplies to Idleb City, affecting some 600,000 people,” said Ms. Kang.

“In response, local government authorities are preventing the delivery of aid to opposition controlled areas.”

Ms. Kang also spoke of attacks against medical facilities and staff. “Hospitals and schools have not been spared,” she said. According to one medical organization, there were eight attacks on medical facilities in December alone. During the same period, seven medical personnel were killed, including three who were tortured to death and one who was executed.

The full article continues at on OCHA’s website.