New York, NY, September 20, 2016 — In reaction to the attack on an aid convoy on September 19, 2016 on the way to east Aleppo, Syria, Mark Schnellbaecher, the International Rescue Committee’s Director of the Syrian Crisis Response said:
“Today, as world leaders gather in New York, we compel them to find a solution to bring the war in Syria to an end. They are the only ones with the power, and they are the last hope of the millions of people affected by more than five long years of conflict.
Monday’s attack on a humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo was an attack on all of us. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues at the UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, who have bravely continued their humanitarian mission in the face of increased danger. Even by the appallingly low standards we have grown used to in Syria, this incident is horrific.
But this attack is just the latest in a string of violations of International Humanitarian Law and these despicable acts cannot go unpunished. The muted response is an indictment of the entire international community, and rhetoric around the protection of civilian life rings particularly hollow today. Lives continue to be destroyed as the latest ceasefire crumbles; now is the time for words to be turned into actions. We need strong leadership to bring this to an end.
In addition, we must reaffirm our commitment to accountability. The UN Security Council must move urgently to establish a monitoring and investigation mechanism, with the mandate to identify the perpetrators of attacks on aid convoys and hospitals and investigate them. Without this, we will continue to erode international norms not just in Syria, but in every conflict.”
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.