UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — International Red Cross (ICRC) spokeswoman Ruth Hetherington has said the Red Cross is “deeply alarmed” by the rapidly deteriorating security and living conditions of hundreds of thousands of recently displaced civilians in Idlib, northwest of Syria.
In a meeting with reporters, Hetherington said displaced persons “have no opportunity to find basic security for themselves and their families”.
Stressing the growing international concern about the tragedy that is taking place with civilians in northwest Syria, she said, “This is the worst wave of displacement we have seen during the Syrian conflict.”
“At a time of difficult winter conditions in Idlib, we see people stranded, isolated and out of their ways. It is completely unacceptable,” Hetherington said.
She said deteriorating access to medical care and essential supplies for civilians in Idlib create life-threatening situations that have already led to deaths that could be prevented.
“Declining access to health care, poor living conditions and difficulties with relocating locations are among the major humanitarian consequences of Idlib’s hostilities,” Hetherington said.
The ICRC says that with ongoing fighting and shifting front lines, access to humanitarian activists and volunteers is challenging and dangerous.
Hetherington quoted Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC director based in Geneva for the Near and Middle East, saying: “We call on the parties involved to allow civilians to move to safe areas, whether within the areas they control , or beyond the front lines. ”
“The daily reality of cold, humid and snowy weather is joining conditions that create serious harm,” Hetherington said.
“If civilians are to flee for security reasons, all possible measures must be taken to ensure that members of the same family are not separated and that all are displaced in favorable conditions of housing, hygiene, health, safety and food. “she said.
Idlib, located near Turkey’s southern border, is part of the de-escalation zone set out in the September 2018 agreement between Turkey and Russia.
However, the Syrian regime and its allies have repeatedly violated the terms of the ceasefire by conducting frequent attacks within the area.
The de-escalation zone is currently inhabited by 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands of people displaced by regime forces from their cities over the years in the war-torn state.
Turkey has called for the immediate cessation of attacks on Idlib, as well as for a ceasefire, inviting the international community to take action.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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