Syria: Humanitarian aid workers and property must be respected and protected

15 March 2020

The International Committee of the Red Cross expresses its deep concern over the intrusion by armed men into the office of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) branch in Idlib and the sub-branch in Ariha on 14 March, in the course of which SARC staff and volunteers were temporarily detained, property was damaged and humanitarian aid was taken.

The ICRC underlines that humanitarian relief personnel and objects for humanitarian relief must be respected and protected - and highlights its particular concern for the safety of SARC staff and volunteers in Idlib.

At this critical moment of a dire need for humanitarian assistance in Idlib, no action should be undertaken that can weaken the capacity of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to respond to the critical needs in Idlib

The ICRC recalls the importance of respect for International Humanitarian Law and the requirement of all parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief to civilians in need.

The ICRC reiterates its readiness to increase its humanitarian response, together with SARC and other Movement partners, to assist people affected by the ongoing crisis in northwest Syria.