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Idlib: protect civilians against a new offensive

Idlib: protect civilians against a new offensive

The military offensive that has been expected for weeks in the Idlib region may lead to one of the worst humanitarian crises ever seen. This new disaster reflects a country ravaged by more than seven years of war, which has already killed 350,000 people and driven more than five million Syrians to flee.

Idlib could become the "worst humanitarian catastrophe" of the 21st century

What is being observed on the ground is alarming, at the beginning of an offensive aiming to take over the region of Idlib which is in the hands of the insurgents. Three million civilians living in this region are at risk of being affected by these attacks. The UN warns that this new humanitarian disaster could lead to 800,000 people being displaced.

We must act without delay and not leave tens of thousands of children, women and men exposed to the bombing.

 

Dr Philippe de Botton, President of Médecins du Monde France, says: “We are worried about the situation on the ground. The inability of the protagonists in the conflict to agree and the lack of response from the international community cause us to fear the worst. We must act without delay and not leave tens of thousands of children, women and men exposed to the bombing. We demand that international law be upheld in order to find a long-lasting solution for civilian populations.”

 

Médecins du Monde – Doctors of the World, which is present in Syria, calls for:

  • A strong response from the international community and the Security Council to avert a new humanitarian disaster;

  • All protagonists to respect international humanitarian law;

  • An end to the targeting of health centres and workers. The right to life, access to health, medicines and healthcare facilities are fundamental rights that must be respected;

  • An immediate ceasefire in order to find a long-lasting solution for the civilian populations who are suffering and fleeing the fighting;

  • Access to civilian populations by humanitarian organisations in order to provide emergency assistance;

  • The international community to take responsibility and not leave neighbouring countries to face a humanitarian disaster alone.

 

We cannot remain silent about the suffering endured by the Syrians. If the international community fails to act, it will bear huge responsibility for what ensues.

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