UN relief chief calls for probe into Idleb attacks

NEW YORK, May 5 (KUNA) — UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien called for an immediate, impartial and independent investigation into the deadly airstrikes on Idleb Governorate, north Syria.
In a statement issued on Thursday, O’Brien said “I am horrified and sickened by the news of civilians killed today.” He noted that initial reports indicate that at least 30 people were killed, and over 80 injured, among them many women and children, and dozens of tents were destroyed or badly damaged.
The continued fighting and airstrikes mean that “vulnerable, frightened children, women and men have nowhere safe to go,” he added. Therefore, the UN official said that all parties to this appalling conflict should understand that they will one day be held accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.
O’Brien said that international humanitarian law very clearly sets out the responsibilities of warring parties to protect civilians and to take every possible measure to avoid places where civilians are living and where they are being looked after by humanitarians.
“If this obscene attack is found to be a deliberate targeting of a civilian structure, it could amount to a war crime,” the statement added.
Earlier this year, thousands of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes, seeking safety from bomb, shelling and missile attacks, while millions are still trapped without access to food or medical care. (end) mao.gb

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