Reports from the ongoing advance of the Syrian Armed Forces in East Aleppo indicate that the government offensive is taking place amidst a pattern of disregard for human rights and international law. “The situation is highly threatening, and the extent of the human suffering taking place is beyond description”, said Sid Peruvemba, Malteser International’s Vice Secretary General. “Our biggest humanitarian concern is that the civil population in the formerly opposition-held areas will be denied lifesaving assistance. We are receiving worrying reports of arbitrary arrests, mass detention, and of men disappearing without trace.”
Although control over Aleppo has become an important symbol of the balance of power in the Syrian Civil War, its capture by no means marks the end of the conflict. Widespread violence continues, especially in the north of the country, and could even be set to worsen. Providing humanitarian assistance in order to save human lives remains the highest priority. “Together with our Syrian partner, we will be distributing blankets and shelters to around 2,200 families who have lost everything the battle for Aleppo, and have fled to seek shelter in the neighbouring Idlib region,” said Peruvemba.
Staff at the Malteser International-supported blood bank and paediatric hospital in eastern Aleppo, were forced to end their operations and flee from the fighting. They remain trapped inside the last opposition-held area in East-Aleppo. Malteser International has been providing primary and secondary health care services for internally-displaced people at the Syrian-Turkish border in cooperation with a Syrian partner organisation since 2013.
For editors: Janine Lietmeyer, Malteser International’s Middle East Manager is available for interviews.
Contact: Tel.: +49 (0)221 9822 155, katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org
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