Rights Groups: World Shares Blame for Syria

21 organizations criticize world powers for not implementing a series of UN resolutions on the Syrian crisis.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Destruction in the Baba Amr neighborhood of H
Destruction in the Baba Amr neighborhood of H
AFP photo

The international community shares responsibility for the worst year yet for civilians in Syria's conflict and has failed to tackle a growing humanitarian disaster, rights groups said Thursday, according to the AFP news agency.

In a report entitled "Failing Syria", 21 human rights organizations criticized world powers for not implementing a series of UN Security Council resolutions on the crisis.

Three resolutions adopted in 2014 urged armed actors in Syria to protect non-combatants and aimed to secure greater access to humanitarian aid for millions of Syrians.

"However, the resolutions, and the hope they provided, have rung hollow for Syrian civilians. They have been ignored or undermined by the parties to the conflict, other UN member states and even by members of the (Security Council) itself," the report said.

Last year was the deadliest yet in the conflict, with at least 76,000 people killed out of a total of more than 210,000 since it began on March 15, 2011.

As the war enters a fifth year, there is no end in sight.

"This is a betrayal of our ideals, because we're not supposed to be watching people suffer and die in 2015," said Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which contributed to the report.

It criticized both rebels and regime forces for indiscriminately targeting civilian infrastructure, including schools and health facilities, and for limiting access to civilians in need.

The report, whose signatories included Oxfam, International Rescue Committee and Save the Children, said 4.8 million Syrians live in areas defined by the United Nations as "hard to reach" for aid deliveries -- almost twice as many as in 2013.

But as needs have increased, funding has not kept pace. Only 57 percent of the money needed to support Syrian civilians and refugees was provided in 2014, down from 71 percent in 2013.

Egeland told AFP that, in the coming year, the UN will need roughly $8.4 billion in aid for Syrian civilians.

"It's one-sixth of the cost of the 2013 Sochi Olympics - so how could Russia afford the Sochi Olympics, but cannot afford sizeable contributions for this underfunded operation," he asked.

Egeland said the international community could "struggle with the effects of the crisis for two generations to come."

Wednesday saw the publication of several alarming reports on the ongoing war in Syria. Doctors Without Borders said earlier in the day that civilians maimed in devastating barrel bombings by Syria's regime in the divided city of Aleppo face a dire shortage of surgeons, wheelchairs and artificial limbs.

Before that, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) issued a report accusing Bashar Al-Assad's regime of "systematically" targeting hospitals.

A total of 610 medical personnel have been killed in the war according to the report, with 139 of them tortured or executed, with the Assad regime responsible for 97% of medical personnel killings.



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