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Military Escalation in Syria will Worsen Civilians' Plight Says Red Cross

Any escalation of the Syrian crisis will result in worse suffering for civilians, the International Red Cross says. The organisation demands unconditional access to all areas of the country to supply humanitarian aid. 2013-08-30 04:18 PM EST

Any escalation of the Syrian crisis will worsen civilian suffering that has already reached unprecedented levels, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday.

[Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Spokeswoman]:

"The humanitarian needs are immense. There are acute shortages of vital medical supplies, water, food, especially in areas that have been sealed off for months and where the ICRC and the Syria Arab Red Crescent were not granted access." 

The ICRC says it is appalled by reports of a poison gas attack on August 21, and is urging all sides in Syria's civil war to respect the absolute ban on chemical weapons.

[Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Spokeswoman]:
"Rural Damascus is one of the areas where the needs are reported to be huge. There are people dying because they don't have access to medical care or because they don't have enough food because the assistance is not reaching this area regularly. There are of course the reports of last week about the use of chemical weapons of which the ICRC is extremely concerned and we recall that the use of chemical weapons is strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law."

Fakhr says the ICRC would continue its humanitarian aid mission in Syria, so long as access was granted.

At least one-hundred-thousand people have been killed in the conflict that began in March 2011, and every day hundreds of people die or struggle with injuries, according to the ICRC.

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