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FCO Minister condemns Syrian regime’s siege and starvation tactics

Hugh Robertson condemns continued attempts to starve Syrian people into submission and calls for Security Council action. 

Responding to reports that the remaining people had been evacuated from Old Homs, Minister for the Middle East Hugh Robertson said:

The recent evacuation of the remaining 2,000 people from Old Homs should not obscure the siege and starvation tactics the regime systematically enforced upon the innocent people of Homs for two years. Elsewhere in Syria, there remain over 200,000 people the regime is trying to starve into submission, and whom the regime continues to target with indiscriminate attacks, including through the horrific use of barrel bombs.

We remain extremely concerned about the fate of the men and boys seized by the regime after an earlier UN supervised evacuation from Old Homs. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said, the regime has systematically used torture and ill-treatment against individuals in government facilities.

The UN Security Council has demanded, through resolution 2139, that the regime immediately lift the sieges across Syria and provide humanitarian agencies free and unfettered access. But as Valerie Amos, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, reported to the Security Council on 30 April, the regime is continuing to ignore these demands. This cannot be allowed to continue, and the case for the UN Security Council to take further action is compelling.

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