“If Monday’s horrifying, outrageous attack is found to be a deliberate targeting of humanitarians, it would amount to a war crime”
September 20, 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the author of the Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act, released the following statement Tuesday following the bombing of a United Nations/Syrian Arab Red Crescent humanitarian convoy near Aleppo that killed an aide worker and more than twenty civilians, as well as destroyed at least 18 trucks with supplies:
“I strongly condemn the bombing of a humanitarian convoy near Aleppo yesterday, resulting in the deaths and injuries of dozens of people who were trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to those in need.
“According to the UN Humanitarian Affairs Chief Stephen O’Brien, notification of the convoy – which planned to reach 78,000 people in Aleppo – had been provided to the Syrian regime and the Russian Federation. According to witnesses, the convoy was hit by multiple strikes that destroyed aid trucks and then hit rescue workers who arrived to help the injured. If Monday’s horrifying, outrageous attack is found to be a deliberate targeting of humanitarians, it would amount to a war crime.
“In a conflict that has killed an estimated 500,000 people and displaced millions more, humanitarian workers must be permitted to reach civilians in desperate need of food, water, and medical supplies. I call on the Russian Federation to fulfill the commitments it made in Geneva to ensure immediate, unfettered delivery of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and compel the regime of Bashar al-Assad to refrain from violence and recommit to the ceasefire. Additionally, all parties to the conflict must adhere to international humanitarian law, which includes the protection of aid workers.”