Ahead of the presidential summit which is set to take place in Tehran on Friday 7 September between Russia, Turkey and Iran to discuss the conflict in Syria, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, said:
“The lives of millions of people in Idlib are now in the hands of Russia, Turkey and Iran – the three countries with the most influence over the parties involved in the conflict in Idlib. As this crucial summit convenes, they have the power to ensure civilians are protected from the relentless unlawful attacks that have characterised much of this brutal conflict.
“The shocking civilian death tolls and war crimes witnessed recently in other parts of Syria such as eastern Aleppo city, Eastern Ghouta, and Daraa must not be repeated in Idlib. It is essential that all parties to the conflict do not attack civilians, grant safe passage to civilians wishing to flee the fighting and attacks, and ensure unimpeded access to humanitarian relief for all civilians in need in Idlib.
“The humanitarian situation in Idlib – which is currently hosting some 700,000 internally displaced people on top of its two million residents – is already dire. People have little access to basic services such as healthcare, education and clean water and the vast majority rely on humanitarian aid. People cannot bear the consequences of yet another offensive using prohibited tactics such as starvation of civilians and indiscriminate bombardment.
“The international community must act immediately to pressure the Syrian government, armed opposition groups and their allies to respect international humanitarian law in order to avoid another humanitarian catastrophe.”