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UN official: Syrian regime continues using barrel bombs against civilians

The United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang once again accused the Syrian regime of “using explosive barrel bombings against civilians in Syria”, the Anadolu Agency reported.

The UN official, who spoke to members of the UN Security Council yesterday during a briefing on the situation in the country, said: “Although the UN Security Council Resolution 2139 calls for an end to the indiscriminate employment of weapons, the Syrian government continues to ignore it”.

“As the conflict entered its fifth year, extreme violence and brutality continued to characterise it. Populated areas were attacked with explosives by both sides, with the government still using barrel bombs in airstrikes,” she said, adding: “reports indicate the death of nearly 100 people and wounding dozens in Damascus during the period from January 21 until 26.”

However, the UN official noted that according to reports “armed opposition groups and terrorist organisations also continue to use explosive weapons in populated areas in the city of Damascus and that on January 25 they launched 50 rockets and mortar shells killing seven people and injuring at least 50 others.”

She pointed out that “hospitals, schools and infrastructure facilities are still under deliberate and indiscriminate attacks,” stressing that “eight attacks were carried out by governmental forces against medical facilities have been documented in December 2014.”

She also pointed out that the “Al-Nusra Front has cut off water supply to the city of Idlib impacting the lives of more than 60,000 people mostly civilians, while the Syrian regime responded by preventing the arrival of humanitarian aid to the opposition-controlled areas.”

Kyung-wha Kang remarked on the “atrocities committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS] elements against civilians in Syria,” saying: “The relentless violence and destruction in Syria has led to one of the worst displacements of people the world has seen in decades. This year we have to assist the 7.6 million people displaced within the country, and the 3.8 million refugees.”

Kang pointed out that the UN’s cross-border deliveries from Turkey and Jordan into Syria totalled 59 under Security Council resolutions 2165 (2014) and 2191 (2014), providing food assistance to over 702,000 people, non-food items for over 615,000, water and sanitation supplies for 311,000, and medical supplies for over 468,000 people.

“A total of 212,000 people remained besieged, 185,000 by government forces, and though 9,000 were able to evacuate towns in Eastern Ghouta, aid deliveries remain heavily restricted. At the same time, no assistance had reached Yarmouk camp for Palestinians since 6 December due to fighting in and around the camp, while there had been no progress on addressing the administrative constraints placed on international non-governmental organisations by the government of Syria,” she said.

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International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
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