UN spokesperson warns of danger in Syria's Idlib
A top UN adviser warned Thursday of a humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib, northwestern Syria, where the Bashar al-Assad regime has been stepping up airstrikes.
In a statement, Najat Rochdi, senior humanitarian adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria, said 3 million people in Idlib need protection. "A humanitarian catastrophe is a grave danger if the violence does not cease," Rochdi said. "Attacks and fighting are also impacting civilians in government-controlled areas."
"PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS IS PARAMOUNT"
The statement came after a weekly Humanitarian Task Force meeting, during which she said she heard firsthand reporting from her UN colleagues based in the region.
The "increasingly horrific brutality in recent weeks [...] has caused significant civilian causalities and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people," she said. "Let me be clear," said Rochdi. "The protection of civilians is paramount".
Rochdi called on warring parties to uphold their obligations under international law and immediately stop attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. "We have a collective responsibility to the victims of this conflict, many of whom are too young to try to make sense of this senseless war," she said.