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European Commission - Statement

Joint statement by HR/VP Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on deadly attacks on hospitals and schools in Syria

Brussels, 15 February 2016

Joint statement by HR/VP Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on deadly attacks on hospitals and schools in Syria

Today's deadly attacks against medical facilities and schools in Aleppo and Idlib in Northern Syria are completely unacceptable.
 
An attack on four hospitals in Idlib province and in Azaz today took the lives of at least seven innocent people. In addition, attacks on two schools in Azaz reportedly killed six children.
 
Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, MSF's medical staff and the humanitarian aid workers.
 
These attacks follow a series of similar assaults against civilian infrastructure happening on an almost daily basis across Syria which are in clear violation of international humanitarian law. Humanitarian organisations carrying out life-saving work in very difficult conditions must be protected.
 
In the case of Syria, these systematic assaults have already broken the country's health system, which suffers from a severe lack of treatment and medicine. A third of hospitals are no longer functioning and nearly half of Syria’s doctors were forced to flee, leaving large parts of the country almost completely cut off from any form of medical assistance.
 
In the light of recent agreements reached in Munich and Geneva as regards humanitarian confidence-building measures, we expect all parties to the conflict to refrain from targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure.
 
Innocent civilians have already suffered so much in five years of this bloody conflict and must be protected.
 
The EU will continue to deliver humanitarian aid to Syrians in need of lifesaving assistance, inside Syria and in neighbouring countries, as the leading donor in the international response to the crisis.

STATEMENT/16/316

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