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UN and Red Cross call not to target residential areas in Idlib and Tripoli

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) chief Peter Maurer on Wednesday called for a halt to strikes in the Syrian cities of Idlib and Tripoli because of their tragic humanitarian consequences.

“Idlib and Tripoli are currently experiencing untold suffering and destruction caused by a barrage of bombs and shells, joining a long list of cities such as Mosul, Aleppo, Raqqa, Taiz, Donetsk, Fallujah and Sanaa,” the officials said.

“Concerned about the devastating humanitarian impact of the war in cities, the ICRC and the United Nations jointly call on States and all parties to armed conflict to avoid the use of explosive weapons with widespread effects in residential areas.”

“The parties to the conflict must realize that they cannot engage in residential areas as they do on the battlefield. They must realize that the use of explosive weapons with widespread impact in cities and refugee camps places civilians at great risk of damage,” said Guterres and Maurer.

International law prohibits attacks against civilians and civilian installations, the officials said. “We urge States and other parties concerned to strengthen the collection of data on civilian casualties … and to investigate” to hold those responsible for attacks in residential areas accountable.

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