Syrian American Organizations Call for Immediate Ceasefire in Idlib, Syria
Tens of thousands of civilians under constant and escalating bombing campaign by Syrian, Russian, and Iranian forces, with further displacement threatening the worst humanitarian catastrophe of Syrian crisis.
WASHINGTON D.C., December 24, 2019 – More than 400 airstrikes in a 24-hour period over the weekend have left the almost three million civilians in Syria's Idlib province and the surrounding countryside fearing death and displacement. With sights set on Idlib, the last area outside of regime control, Russian- and Iranian-backed Syrian regime forces have already begun their latest bombing campaign, made significant advances on heavily populated areas, and stand ready to brutally seize territory, slaughtering all in their path. Syrian American organizations echo the calls from the Syria Civil Defence, the humanitarian aid group better known as the White Helmets, to end the carnage in Idlib, protect its civilians, and provide safe channels for those wishing to leave.
Tens of thousands of civilians are immediately at risk, with the United Nations reporting Friday that at least 18,000 people had been displaced in just 24 hours, fleeing toward the Turkish border. Among the most vulnerable are the students at The Wisdom House, an American-funded school for orphans in Idlib. The Assad regime, backed by Iran and Russia, have forced the students and teachers to flee with nowhere to seek shelter.
Syrian American organizations urgently call on the international community to:
- Implement a 72-hour ceasefire, requested by the White Helmets;
- Allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians;
- Allow civilians to seek shelter and safe passage to Turkey.
The organizations released the following statement:
“The Assad regime, backed by Russia and Iran have forced civilians to evacuate with nowhere to go to escape the heavy bombardment of barrel bombs, artillery, and missiles. Given the dire humanitarian stakes, Turkey should immediately open its borders to allow those fleeing genocide safe passage.
“The United States, the United Nations, and our European allies must unite in this desperate hour to provide humanitarian aid to civilians who have been forced to flee from the destruction of their homes and lives. Syrian and Syrian American humanitarian organizations stand ready to work with governments on the safe delivery of aid to vulnerable populations.
“The Syrian opposition must abandon the failed Astana talks, which were created and continue to be led by Russia, one of the main perpetrators in war crimes against Syrian civilians. The only durable and lasting solution to the violence in Syria is an immediate, peaceful political transition.”
Syrian American organizations call on the Trump administration, Congress, the United Nations, and the international community to call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Idlib, and to work to prevent the slaughter of thousands of civilians in a thoughtful and coordinated manner to guarantee that the rights of all civilians are protected.
Organizations signing on to this statement include:
Americans for a Free Syria
Free Syria PAC
Kayla’s List PAC
Syrian American Council
Syrian Institute for Progress
Syrian Christians for Peace
Michelle R. Taylor