With the ongoing violence engulfing Syria, the United States of America today expressed condamnation and outraged by the summary executions and shelling that killed hundreds of Syrians in Daraya late last week.
Reports say more than 200 people found dead in Daraya, a town southwest of Damascus. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces were reportedly responsible for the massacres.
At the Security meeting on Syria, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations says the reports of aerial attacks on hospitals, bakeries, and breadlines in Aleppo recall some of the worst atrocities of prior conflicts.
“The international community has long pledged never again to allow such crimes.” -Ms. Rice
She says for a year and a half, the Syrian regime has waged a vicious, unrelenting campaign of terror and bloodshed against its own suffering people.
Ms. Rice highlighted that Bashar al-Assad and those who still stand by him are now responsible for the deaths of more than 20,000 Syrians and the wounding of tens of thousands more.
“They have forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee for their lives.” -Ms. Rice
Despite the appalling environment on the ground and the clear obstruction by the Syrian government, the United States is working with others to counter the cruelty of Bashar al-Assad and his clique.
Ms. Rice cites that the United Nations, international organizations, the United States, many countries around the world, and Syrian and other humanitarian organizations are providing vital aid to the hundreds of thousands of civilians in urgent need.
The UN reports that up to 2.5 million Syrians now need assistance, Ms. Rice noted.
The United States commends the humanitarian workers who are risking their lives to save others, and it grieves for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“All parties, especially the Syrian government, must allow safe, full, and unfettered access for humanitarian workers so they can save lives that today hang in the balance.” -Ms. Rice
According to Ms. Rice, the United States strongly supports the full and immediate implementation of the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan, which was agreed by OCHA and the Government of Syria. Only half of the $180 million needed to address prior humanitarian needs in Syria has been provided.
This year, the United States has already provided nearly $82 million to the United Nations and other relief agencies for the Syria humanitarian crisis, Ms. Rice noted.
“Our aid has fed the hungry and bound up the wounds of as many of Assad’s victims as we can reach.” -Ms. Rice
To respond to the humanitarian aid for the Syrian people, the US government is helping protect internally displaced people and refugees, working to save children from malnutrition and disease, and helping ensure adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.
US assistance enables humanitarian coordination and logistics support to relief agencies.
The United States urges all members to increase their contributions to meet the shortfalls and to coordinate closely with the United Nations to avoid creating parallel humanitarian response systems.
The US government commends the generosity of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and other countries that have opened their borders to civilians fleeing violence and persecution.
However, the US government is deeply troubled by the spillover of Syria’s violence to its neighbors, especially Lebanon.
Ms. Rice stresses that this is not, at root, a humanitarian crisis.
“It is a political crisis caused by the cruelty and callousness of the Assad regime.” -Ms. Rice
No amount of humanitarian assistance will end the bloodshed and suffering, Ms. Nuland said.
Ms. Rice notes that that day will come only once Assad has departed and a peaceful, Syrian-led transition to democracy has begun.
“This remains our goal and should be the goal of all nations of goodwill.” -Ms. Rice
At the Security Council meeting, Ms. Rice also says the United States and our partners will continue to work with the Syrian opposition and engage all elements of society to help the Syrian people achieve a government that represents all of its citizens, promotes their human rights, respects the rule of law, and responds to its people’s aspirations.
The US is proud to help train civil society activists and to provide Syrians with equipment that lets them communicate securely with one another, to reach out to the outside world, and to document the regime’s atrocities.
“We encourage the opposition’s efforts to unite the population behind a common transition plan that offers a viable and safe future for all Syrians.” -Ms. Rice
However, Ms. Rice stresses that even as the conflict rages, we condemn in the strongest terms unlawful killings by any side.
She emphasizes that the United States cannot and will not turn away from atrocities and systematic violations of international law.
“Those responsible for massacres of civilians will be held accountable.” -Ms. Rice
The primary responsibility for ending the carnage rests with Assad and the clique around him, Ms. Rice stressed.
The United States will remain committed to pursuing a wiser course-one that limits the harm to regional security, staves off the risk of full-scale civil strife, and produces a new, responsible Syrian government that will defend and respect all of its citizens, Ms. Rice emphasized.
Earlier this August, the United States of America announced an additional $12 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to more than $76 million.
The U.S. government continues to place on ending the escalating violence which has uprooted hundreds of thousands of Syrians.
The humanitarian needs continue to grow where the number of Syrians displaced to neighboring countries now exceeds 130,000, with nearly 1.5 million in need inside Syria, including UN-estimated one million internally displaced persons.
The Syrian violence has led a crisis on a humanitarian scale that is of the highest priority within the U.S. government, and for which the US pledges to continue to provide support.
In April this year, with the deteriorating situation in Syria due to turmoil, the United States of America has bolstered efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict in the country.
The UN estimates that there are over 1 million Syrians inside Syria in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Of that number, it’s an estimated 300,000 internally displaced.
United States has dedicated some $33 million to support the important work to assist and protect those in need in Syria and neighboring countries, and much more is on the way.
US pproach is to work through international and nongovernmental organizations.
The United States commends the brave and dedicated work that the humanitarian organizations on the ground in Syria and in the neighboring countries are carrying out, including the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and the World Food Program, and many international nongovernmental organizations.
In addition, USAID Christa Capozzola also reported at the briefing in DC that the ongoing conflict in Syria has created a severe and growing humanitarian crisis, and the humanitarian organizations currently operating in Syria are tirelessly working to get aid out as quickly as possible into areas where safety and security are questionable.
To help meet the growing needs, the United States is providing food, clean water, basic healthcare, medical and other emergency relief supplies to benefit more than 400,000 people in Syria and neighboring countries so far.
One of US largest emergency partners right now is the World Food Program, which has been helping to reach a hundred thousand people per month in some of the most conflict-affected cities and zones since this conflict began.
World Food Program, WFP, is being distributed in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
In addition, WFP has expanded its emergency food assistance to reach now 250,000 conflict-affected Syrians, so the program is expanding.
US assistance is through international and non-governmental humanitarian partners which include:
$10.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP); $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); $7.8 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs); $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); and $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Reports say displaced Syrians have received U.S. assistance in the form of medical supplies and other humanitarian relief.
According to the US State Department, humanitarian assistance is provided on the basis of need, not political affiliation, and is being distributed to the most vulnerable through international and non-governmental organizations.
The United States is seeking for ways possible to get humanitarian relief reaches Syria. It is engaged in comprehensive diplomatic efforts to secure unhindered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need.