August 5, 2021
Washington, D.C.- In recent weeks, the collapse of the reconciliation agreement signed in 2018 had led to increased hostilities in Southern Syria, resulting in civilian casualties as well as the displacement of more than 11,000 civilians.
Furthermore, the Syrian government has now imposed a siege on the city of Dara’a al-Balad, denying nearly 50,000 civilians access to basic needs such as food and water.
SAMS strongly condemns indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and the use of siege and starvation as a weapon of war by the Syrian government. The remaining population in Dara’a Al-Balad has also been denied access to basic medical care. The only emergency medical point in the city is no longer operational, which puts the lives of those injured by the ongoing shelling of residential areas at even greater risk. In addition, patients with chronic illnesses are no longer able to get their medications, as pharmacies’ stocks have been depleted in the last 40 days, with no ability to bring in medicines to the besieged city. There is also a growing shortage of baby formula.
“Civilians in many parts of Syria have been subjected to brutal sieges before- the international community failed to help them in the past, and cannot allow this to happen again. International humanitarian law must be respected and there must be unimpeded humanitarian access immediately,” said Dr. Amjad Rass, SAMS President.
SAMS calls on the UN Security Council to meet to discuss the situation in Southern Syria and to enforce its earlier resolutions calling for humanitarian access and the protection of civilians. In addition, SAMS calls on the United Nations to organize efforts to evacuate the wounded for medical treatment, while also ensuring that they will not be detained or mistreated.