Airstrike hits UN convoy in Syria, CARE demands immediate ceasefire

Airstrike hits UN convoy in Syria, CARE demands immediate ceasefire

Publication info

Posted
9/21/16

Amman, 21 September 2016 - A UN convoy was hit by airstrikes in northwest Aleppo on Monday night, just a few days after yet another ceasefire agreement brokered by the U.S. and Russia, co-leads of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) was put in place between the different parties of the conflict, only to last shorter than previous agreements and to fall apart more tragically. The convoy that contained up to 30 trucks carrying food and other desperately needed assistance and that was on standby was clearly marked as an aid convoy. The strike killed a number of civilians, including Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) volunteers, and reportedly damaged at least 18 of the convoy’s trucks. This convoy was highly anticipated by 78,000 people in western Aleppo in desperate need for assistance. In light of the deplorable attack, the UN has suspended all other aid convoys in Syria for the time being, pending further assessment of the security situation.

“The convoy that was heading to Aleppo and supposedly from there to other towns had not entered the city yet when it was targeted, never being able to reach the communities who were waiting desperately,” says CARE partner staff member inside Syria. “Now no other convoys are expected to come anytime soon, even the ones that had been planned will no longer take place because they are now afraid of being targeted. The communities in besieged and hard to reach communities in Aleppo and in other places have not received any of the aid they have been anticipating and now will have to wait even longer.” While CARE works with partners closely to deliver emergency assistance in all parts of Syria, our partners continue to face difficulties on a daily basis. “Aleppo is just one of the many areas in Syria suffering under siege and daily violations of humanitarian law and principle,” says Maithree Abeyrathna, CARE Program Manager for Cross Border activities.” CARE partners in Syria struggle to deliver assistance, particularly the north nearby Aleppo and Idleb. They often have to risk their lives to reach out to vulnerable communities under bombardment and airstrikes.”

CARE is outraged by this tragedy and condemns all attacks on civilians including this particularly egregious targeting of humanitarian aid workers. Aid workers should not pay the price to this bloody war and at no point should they be targets to any of the actors in the conflict. The aid convoy was waiting for the greenlight from the warring parties for several days, in hopes that the ceasefire agreement will allow them to do what is highly needed. Not only this attack resulted in the killing and injuring of aid workers, but it also means that the tens of thousands of civilians trapped in western Aleppo, and potentially other parts of the country nearby, will have to continue waiting for the desperately needed assistance they have been awaiting for months now. While this is an alarming reminder of the extreme need for all parties to agree on a political solution to end the bloodiest conflict of our time definitively, CARE urges world leaders to take the opportunity of the UN General Assembly and the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees taking place in New York this week and to put in place measures for an effective, immediate ceasefire that will allow aid convoys to reach the extremely vulnerable communities across Syria who are solely dependent on aid.

For media queries please contact Mahmoud Shabeeb, CARE’s Regional Communications Officer for the Syria crisis, mahmoud.shabeeb@care.org, + 962 (0) 79 711 74 13

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