Syrian Coalition: Silence of international Community Makes It Complicit in Starving Civilians in Syria

The Syrian Coalition warns of a humanitarian catastrophe threatening the life of civilians besieged by the Assad regime and the Hezbollah militia. Pro-regime forces have laid a crippling siege on towns of Madaya and Biqqin northwest of Damascus for several months, blocking the entry of basics to nearly 40 civilians trapped inside.

In a statement released earlier today, the Syrian Coalition’s legal committee called upon the Arab League, the United Nations, and the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to shoulder their responsibilities towards the civilians trapped by Assad gangs and the Hezbollah militia in Madaya, Biqqin and other besieged areas in Syria.

The committee stressed that urgent action must be taken to save the lives of innocent civilians, lift the siege and allow immediate and unfettered access to food convoys and medical supplies in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2139.

Paragraph VI of resolution 2139 demands that “all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for UN humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners, including across conflict lines and across borders, in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people in need through the most direct routes.”

Moreover, UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) called on the parties to “immediately allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unhindered access throughout Syria by most direct routes, allow immediate, humanitarian assistance to reach all people in need, in particular in all besieged and hard-to-reach areas.”

The committee also called upon all international human rights organizations to urgently put pressure on the international community and the world’s governments in order to save the lives of innocent civilians in the besieged areas, most importantly in Madaya.

It is estimated that a total of half million people are living under siege across Syria, almost all of them are face starvation. The committee stressed that starving civilians constitutes a war crime, adding that international organizations are liable to accountability for remaining silent over this crimes.

The statement quoted the text of a letter sent by residents of Madaya. The letter says: “Grave diggers shall start digging graves for us, for our children; with frail and weak bodies, we are unable to accomplish that ourselves. We can only wait for death from hunger and cold.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 06.01.2016)

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