August 18, 2016

Cardin Statement on Humanitarian Situation in Aleppo

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Relations and the author of The Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act, released the following statement Thursday regarding the dire humanitarian situation of the people in Aleppo, Syria:

"I am appalled by the ongoing suffering and humanitarian devastation in Aleppo.  Despite the commitments contained in the Cessation of Hostilities agreement and contrary to established international principles, humanitarian assistance is being used as a bargaining chip in Syria’s civil war by the Russian-backed Assad regime and terrorist groups.  The toll is staggering, with over 600,000 civilians facing little or no access to medical care, severe food shortages, lack of running water, and both deliberate and indiscriminate acts of violence.  Innocent civilians, including children, are bearing the brunt of this brutal conflict as they have for the past six years.

"It is crucial that humanitarian assistance reach civilians in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria. United Nations and humanitarian assistance organizations must be granted immediate and unconditional access to civilians in need. I urge all parties to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement to uphold their commitments, to cease the deliberate and indiscriminate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to ensure that civilians have access to humanitarian aid at all times."