Damascus, SANA- Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad affirmed that Syria’s enemies have blatantly violated international humanitarian law through killing women and children, destroying infrastructure, and committing crimes, yet no one has condemned these crimes.
This came during a speech by Mikdad at a workshop held at Sheraton Hotel in Damascus by the Syrian National Committee for International Humanitarian Law to introduce the international humanitarian law under the title “International Humanitarian Law in Syria, a reality and ambition” in cooperation with the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Damascus and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
Mikdad said that the workshop will pave the way for educational, health, and other institutions in Syria to learn about international humanitarian law and its provisions, principles, and general rules.
He noted the role of the SARC since the beginning of the crisis in Syria and the huge burden it has endured throughout the days of the war in facing the challenges and providing the needs of the Syrian people, adding that Syria cooperates with the ICRC represented by its mission.
He affirmed that Syria’s enemies have blatantly violated international humanitarian law, as they have killed women and children, destroyed infrastructure, and committed crimes, most recent of these being the massacre committed by ISIS terrorists against the locals of Aqareb al-Safiyeh village to the east of Salamiyeh city where they beheaded children and cut open the stomachs of pregnant women, adding “we have not heard anyone condemn these crimes, which are indeed crimes against humanity and war crimes.”
“We are working, in cooperation with our partners in the SARC and ICRC, to educate our people about the dangers of crimes committed in armed conflicts, which no one talks about, especially those committed by armed terrorist organizations which are supported externally,” Mikdad said.
He asserted that the supporters of terrorist organizations should also bear responsibility for what is happening because they have armed, financed, and trained terrorists in violation of international law, international humanitarian law, and human rights law.
He asserted that the cooperation between Syria and the ICRC is at its best, adding that no international body in Syria has carried out its tasks in a convenient way as much as the ICRC has done throughout Syria, adding that the ICRC is an organization that respects the sovereignty of Syria, noting the exemplary cooperation between the Commission and the SARC.
The Deputy Minister said that the president of the ICRC Peter Maurer will arrive in Syria today for the purpose of further discussions on the issues raised during the workshop and to expand future cooperation between the Syrian government and the ICRC without politicizing the humanitarian aid issue.
“Since the ICRC is working without politicizing humanitarian aid, we always find ourselves in agreement on a large number of ICRC’s activities in Syria and we hope to strengthen this during Maurer’s visit to our country,” he added.
For her part, Head of the ICRC in Syria Marianne Gasser affirmed the importance of increasing all forms of cooperation between the ICRC and the Syrian government, in addition to the importance of strengthening and intensifying cooperation with the SARC, pointing out that the Committee was and still is standing by the Syrians.
She added that the ICRC, in cooperation with the Syrian government and the SARC, is providing assistance to the Syrians, including providing prosthetic limbs for disabled persons, helping families who have lost their breadwinners, improving water facilities and transporting water, rehabilitating sanitation networks, supporting farmers, and providing subsidies and humanitarian services.
She said that the Committee seeks through this workshop to help victims of war and violence by spreading awareness and knowledge of humanitarian law around the world.
The workshop was attended by ambassadors of Arab and foreign countries in the Syrian Arab Republic, representatives of international organizations in Syria, representatives of several ministries, a number of judges, diplomats, and a large number of representatives of popular organizations and a number of religious scholars.
Manar al-Freih / Hazem Sabbagh