17 July 2012
As conflict escalates even further in Syria, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is helping hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
Thousands of people are struggling to preserve their safety and their livelihoods, and many are fleeing to take refuge with other families. Fighting is taking place continuously in Homs governorate and Deir Ezzor and sporadically in Dar'a, where the number of displaced people is growing fast. It is also very tense in rural areas of Aleppo governorate.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is reminding parties to the armed conflict that hostilities, wherever they may occur in Syria, are subject to the rules of international humanitarian law. These rules impose limits on how the fighting can be conducted, with the aim of protecting the civilian population and people no longer directly participating in the hostilities.
International humanitarian law
Robert Mardini, ICRC head of operations for the Near and Middle East, said: "As a neutral and independent humanitarian organisation with a mandate to promote respect for international humanitarian law, the ICRC’s preferred way of addressing humanitarian issues is through bilateral and confidential dialogue.
"This approach enables us to obtain and preserve access to the people most affected by armed conflict or other violence and to the warring parties themselves."
The ICRC and its staff cannot be compelled to testify before any court or tribunal. Its documents and reports, including those shared with the authorities, cannot be used as evidence in any legal proceedings.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the ICRC are responding to growing needs throughout Syria. Since mid-2011, they have brought aid to over 600,000 people, and over the past month they have:
supplied food for more than 150,000 people
distributed sleeping mats, mattresses, towels, hygiene items and kitchen sets
delivered medical supplies, including wound-dressing materials, gloves, disinfectants, injection and surgical drainage materials and intravenous fluids to Deir Ezzor
provided disinfectants, wound-dressing materials, suture instruments, intravenous fluids and other medical items for Syrian Arab Red Crescent health-care facilities in violence-stricken areas of Rural Damascus
provided medical items for the treatment of some 400 wounded patients to Syrian Arab Red Crescent branches in Aleppo, Damascus, Dar'a, Hama, Homs, Idlib and Tartous
delivered water or improved water sources benefitting more than 114,000 people.
As the situation continues to deteriorate in Syria, the British Red Cross is calling for more funds to support affected people. Please give what you can today and help people in a desperate situation.