U.N. aid chief “horrified” by Syrian attacks on civilians, demands urgent humanitarian access

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United Nations' aid chief Stephen O'Brien. File photo

ARA News

Damascus, Syria – Syrian government should allow humanitarian access to stranded civilians who need urgent aid in war-torn cities, U.N. aid chief said on Monday after his first visit to Damascus.

Stephen O’Brien also condemned Syrian regime’s airstrikes that killed more than 100 people in the city of Douma near Damascus on Sunday.

“The dire catastrophe, which is the humanitarian situation in Syria, is worsening,” O’Brien told Reuters.

“It was therefore very much central to the discussions I had with (Syrian) government ministers that we need to have that unimpeded access to all people who are vulnerable and in need,” he said. 

During his first visit to Syria, O’Brien observed the situation in Damascus and Homs. 

He strongly condemned Syrian strikes on the city of Douma, northeast of Damascus, which claimed lives of more than 100 civilians and wounded 300 others. 

“As I was having discussions – it became apparent shortly afterwards – that there had been these airstrikes. Like others, I was horrified. it is absolutely vital to recognise that that is unacceptable.” 

“Equally, I saw the effects of yet more cuts to the water supply in parts of Damascus from those who are on the other side of the argument. It is clear to me that those cutting water supplies as a weapon of war, it is unacceptable,” O’Brien said. 

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi 

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