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The Federal Foreign Office on the increasing attacks on civilian infrastructure in Idlib, Syria

30.01.2020 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (30 January) on the growing number of attacks on civilian facilities in the south-east of the Idlib de-escalation zone:

The German Government condemns the growing number of attacks on civilian infrastructure and calls on the Syrian regime and its allies to guarantee protection of civilians and to respect international humanitarian law. We demand an immediate and genuine ceasefire as well as unrestricted humanitarian access to all people in need, above all to those who have been displaced. We regularly reiterate this demand in the United Nations Security Council.

A lasting solution to the Syria conflict can only be found as part of a political settlement under the terms of Security Council Resolution 2254. The present offensive in Idlib clearly runs counter to this aim.

Background information:

Syrian regime forces and their allies have continued their offensive in the south-east of the Idlib de-escalation zone over the past weeks, and have stepped up their ground attacks since 24 January. Once again, civilians and civilian infrastructure have been targeted, as have places in which civilians seek shelter or care, such as the hospital in the town of Sarjah. This is a blatant breach of international humanitarian law.

The humanitarian situation in Idlib is already catastrophic. The vast majority of the population of some 3 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance. More than 1.3 million internally displaced people are in the Idlib region. In the last weeks alone a further 400,000 people have been displaced. The German Government continues to provide substantial humanitarian assistance in Idlib. Over 20 million euros have already been made available in 2020. Preparations are being made to increase this sum by another 25 million euros.

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