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Syria: parties to the fighting must distinguish between civilians and fighters

27-05-2012 News Release

Damascus/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is shocked by the high number of civilian casualties caused by the tragic events in Houla, in Homs governorate. It conveys its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims.

"We urge the parties to the fighting to distinguish at all times between civilians and those participating in the hostilities," said Marianne Gasser, the head of the ICRC delegation in Syria. "Especially when fighting in populated areas, the parties must constantly take care in their choice of means and method of warfare to spare civilians the effect of the hostilities. "

The ICRC remains extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Syria. It is calling for the civilian population to be allowed to move to safer areas should they fear for their safety. Injured people must have access to medical care without delay.

In cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the ICRC is providing emergency relief throughout Syria. Since the beginning of the year it has brought aid to over 300,000 displaced people and others affected by the violence in the country.


For further information, please contact:
Rabab Al-Rifaï, ICRC Damascus, tel: +963 993 700 847 or +963 11 331 0476
Media service, ICRC Geneva: tel: +41 22 730 34 43