World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Situation in Afrin, Syria

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani

Location: Geneva
Subject: Situation in Afrin, Syria

We have been receiving deeply alarming reports from Afrin in northwestern Syria about civilian deaths and injuries due to airstrikes and ground-based strikes, as well as reports that civilians are being prevented from leaving Afrin city by Kurdish forces.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are at risk, including those recently displaced from other areas captured by Turkish-led forces. We have received reports that only those civilians who have contacts within the Kurdish authority or the Kurdish armed forces have been able to leave, but even they have to make a treacherous path through, risking shelling and explosive hazards only to reach checkpoints manned by Government-backed armed groups where they may only be permitted to cross after paying money.

The humanitarian situation is reportedly worsening, with tremendous pressure on Afrin hospital – the only medical facility equipped for major operations – which is struggling to cope with the influx of injured people. There is also a severe water shortage due to the reported destruction of a pumping station as well as the control of other water resources by Turkish-led forces. We have received reports of opposition fighters on the ground in some areas looting the homes of those who have fled the area.

Civilians on the ground have expressed serious worries to us regarding their safety, including as a result of fighters placing rocket launchers in residential areas. We are deeply concerned about the high risk of civilians – who are effectively trapped – being killed, injured, besieged, used as human shields or displaced as a result of the fighting.

We remind all parties to the conflict that they must permit civilians wishing to leave combat areas to do so in safety, and to ensure the protection of those who remain. They must take all feasible precautions to avoid loss of civilian lives, and where there have been reports of civilian casualties, these must be promptly and effectively investigated.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC