Syria: 5,000 civilians leave town north-east of Damascus

31-12-2013 News Release

Damascus/Geneva (ICRC) – Over the last 48 hours, the Syrian authorities have facilitated the exit of approximately 5,000 civilians to leave Adra, a besieged town north-east of Damascus. With support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Syrian Arab Red Crescent is providing those who left the town with emergency relief, including food and water and tarpaulins.

Despite this positive development, the ICRC remains concerned about the people still in Adra, where fighting is ongoing, and in other parts of Syria where civilians are directly affected by the fighting, such as in Douma and in other areas of Rural Damascus.

"All parties must ensure that the civilians remaining in Adra and in other towns and villages where fighting is taking place are protected from the dangers of hostilities, that the sick and the wounded receive proper medical treatment and that those who wish to leave areas directly affected by the fighting can do so safely," said Robert Zimmerman, deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Syria.

Under international humanitarian law, all parties to the conflict must allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief intended for civilians. The parties must respect the right of the sick and the wounded to be treated and cared for without discrimination.

For further information, please contact:
Simon Schorno, ICRC Damascus, tel: +963 993 700 847
Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17