‘Immediate End’ To Syria’s Civil War Needed To Allow ‘Unconditional’ Movement Of Aid To Civilians

New York Times: Agony and Starvation in the Syrian War
Editorial Board

“After haunting pictures and stories of starving civilians showed up on international news sites and social media, food and other desperately needed aid were finally allowed into the Syrian town of Madaya on Monday. Yet this should not be a cause for celebration or complacency. The aid convoys and their supplies offer only a respite in the slow-motion agony that is destroying Syria and its people. What is needed, and has long been needed, is an immediate end to the civil war. The … news coverage … is putting a renewed focus on the failure of the major powers to at least move the conflict toward a cease-fire. … Using food as a weapon violates international law, and the United States, Europe, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, which all have influence with different proxy groups in Syria, have a responsibility to ensure that civilians have unconditional access to basic supplies. Much of what these powers are doing in Syria, including American and Russian airstrikes, has complicated the relief effort. If negotiations on January 25 to achieve a broad political settlement continue to falter, the outside powers should declare a cease-fire and find a way to impose it on their Syrian proxies” (1/12).

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