Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Commissioner for Crisis Management Lenarčič on the situation in Idlib, Syria

On 6 February, the High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, and the Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, made the following statement on the situation in Idlib, Syria: “Bombings and other attacks on civilians in north-west Syria must stop. The European Union urges all parties to the conflict to allow unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need of assistance and to respect the rules and obligations of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians. The intensification of military operations has resulted in the indiscriminate killings of hundreds of civilians. Attacks continue to include civilian targets in densely populated areas, medical facilities and settlements for internally displaced people. More than 500,000 people have been forced to flee their homes during the last two months alone, and are facing harsh winter conditions without being able to cover basic needs for shelter, water, food or health services. Serious violations of international humanitarian law have become commonplace. Through its humanitarian aid partners on the ground, the European Union has been providing emergency assistance to millions of people in need in Syria since the start of the conflict. More than €17 billion have been mobilised by the European Union and its Member States to support the most vulnerable people inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. The European Union will continue to provide humanitarian assistance as long as the needs persist. Unimpeded, safe and secure access is, however, required in order to assess and respond to the full range of needs. The extraordinary human suffering endured by the civilian population in north-west Syria is unacceptable. The European Union recalls that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict. The only path to stability is a credible and inclusive UN-facilitated political solution pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015).” The statement is available online.