BFF-36 UN, Red Cross appeal for halt to bombings in Syria and Libya

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BFF-36

UN-SYRIA-LIBYA-CONFLICT-BOMBING

UN, Red Cross appeal for halt to bombings in Syria and Libya

UNITED NATIONS, United States, Sept 18, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – The heads of the
United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross joined
Wednesday to appeal for a halt to bombings of the cities of Idlib in Syria
and Tripoli in Libya.

Both are “enduring untold suffering and destruction from a hail of bombs
and shells,” UN chief Antonio Guterres and ICRC head Peter Maurer said in a
statement.

They called on all parties in both conflicts to refrain from using wide-
impact explosive weapons in populated areas.

“Parties to conflict should recognize that they cannot fight in populated
areas in the way they would in open battlefields,” they said.

“International humanitarian law … absolutely prohibits directing attacks
against civilians or civilian objects, indiscriminate or disproportionate
attacks, indiscriminate weapons, and using civilians as human shields,” they
said.

The region around jihadist-held Idlib in Syria has been the focus of a
four-month offensive by the Russian-backed regime in Damascus that the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights says has killed more than 970 civilians.

More than 400,000 Syrians have been displaced by violence in the region
since the end of April, according to the United Nations.

Tripoli has been the epicenter since April of a bloody offensive by
military strongman Khalifa Haftar against Libya’s UN-recognized Government of
National Accord.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1,000 people have
been killed in the fighting, which has displaced some 120,000 people.

BSS/AFP/BZC/2045HRS