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UN official: Attack on Syria refugee camp ‘sickening’

A drone photo shows an aerial view of the Kefernahum refugee camp, where Syrian refugees live, at the beginning of the winter season in northeastern Idlib, Syria on November 02, 2019. Syrian refugees, who have been living in the camp, face flooding, mud and puddles due to lack of infrastructure and sewerage network. ( Izzeddin Idilbi - Anadolu Agency )

A UN official for the Syria Crisis in a statement on Thursday ‘strongly’ condemned an attack that targeted vulnerable civilians, including elderly people, women and children on a camp for displaced people in Qah village in northwestern Syria, Anadolu Agency reports.

At least 12 people were killed and hundreds injured in a missile attack on a crowded residential area in a camp for displaced people in Qah village of northwestern Idlib province, also injuring four humanitarian workers.

The camp buildings and a nearby maternity hospital were damaged during the attack.

“I find it sickening that missiles hit vulnerable civilians, including elderly people, women and children sheltering in tents and makeshift shelters in a camp for internally displaced people,” UN Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis Mark Cutts said.

“This horrific incident needs to be fully investigated. These camps are places where people who have already fled violence seek safety and shelter,” he added.

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International humanitarian law requires all parties to make a specific distinction between civilians and militants and to take constant precaution in carrying out military operations to save civilians, Cutts added.

“Directing any attack on civilians is a violation of international humanitarian law”.

Cutts briefed that as a result of the hostilities, over 1,000 civilian casualties including hundreds of children were reported by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in northwestern Syria since late April.

He said dozens of attacks against medical facilities and staff across Syria were also verified.

“I condemn this latest attack in the strongest possible terms. I call once again on all parties to the conflict to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law,” Cutts said.

International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
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