European Union External Action

Statement by the HR/VP Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian aid and Crisis management Christos Stylianides on the humanitarian situation in Aleppo city, Syria

28/07/2016 - 00:00
Statements by the HR/VP

The recent closure of the last remaining supply route has turned Eastern Aleppo in Syria into a de-facto besieged area, cutting off around 300,000 people from any form of vital assistance. Since 7 July, neither aid staff nor supplies have been allowed to enter.

The EU calls for an immediate humanitarian pause in fighting to ensure medical evacuations and the delivery of medicine, food and water from and into Eastern Aleppo as the humanitarian situation has deteriorated dramatically.

Without urgent humanitarian access food supplies are expected to run out over the next few weeks and Aleppo might well turn into the largest humanitarian tragedy of this conflict which has already brought so much suffering. This is simply unacceptable.

The use of starvation of civilians through the besiegement of populated areas for which the regime bears the greatest responsibility, as a tactic of war, is contrary to international law.

What we need is an immediate lifting of sieges across Syria and unhindered country-wide humanitarian access. Furthermore the deliberate attacks on civilian infrastructure, in particular against medical facilities, schools, markets and internally displaced people camps constitute another grave violation of international humanitarian law.

The humanitarian pause is, of course, only a first step.  We have always said there will be no military but only a political solution to this conflict.

The international community must act collectively and forcefully to put the process back on track, including the respect to the cessation of hostilities.

The EU will continue to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura in facilitating a peaceful settlement, while continuing to support the people in need with lifesaving humanitarian aid.