URGENT JOINT STATEMENT:  C4SSA and SETF Call for Hostilities Cessation by the Assad Regime and Russia in Northwest Syria



OCTOBER 10, 2023

WASHINGTON D.C.– On October 5, 2023, the Assad regime initiated an unprovoked, intensive campaign of aerial attacks on civilians across northwest Syria which has killed at least 46 civilians, in addition to wounding hundreds. Over the past five days, the Assad regime has indiscriminately and relentlessly shelled over 1,100 locations in Idlib and western Aleppo with internationally banned phosphorus and cluster bombs, and has bombed residential neighborhoods using missiles carrying internationally banned incendiary munitions. To this day, the regime and Russia continue to escalate their attacks, which include targets such as schools, internally displaced people (IDPs) camps, non-governmental organizations offices, mosques, and markets, increasing the death toll of innocent civilians, including women, children and humanitarian workers, and resulting in the displacement of at least 20,000 civilians.

Citizens for a Secure and Safe America (C4SSA) and the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) strongly condemn and call for an immediate cessation of the recent surge in hostilities in northwest Syria perpetrated by the Assad regime and Russia. This escalation of violence in this region, not seen in this scale since 2019, has caused immense suffering for the innocent civilians trapped in the war and worsened the already grave humanitarian crisis following over a decade of war and the devastating February earthquakes. This dire situation demands international attention and action.

C4SSA and SETF express their deep concern for the well-being of the people of Idlib, who are enduring unimaginable hardships and loss as a result of this military offensive. We call upon the following actions to be taken immediately:

Ceasefire: That the Assad regime and Russia immediately cease all hostilities in Idlib, allowing humanitarian organizations to access the area and provide much-needed aid to the affected population.
Protection of Civilians: The safety and well-being of innocent civilians must be paramount. We call upon all parties involved to abide by international humanitarian law, ensuring the protection of all civilians.
Humanitarian Access: Humanitarian organizations must be granted unfettered access to deliver aid, medical assistance, and essential supplies to the people of Idlib. The international community must do everything in its power to facilitate this access.
Diplomatic Resolution: We call upon the international community, including the United Nations and relevant stakeholders, to intensify diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful and lasting resolution to the Syrian conflict in which the Assad regime and allies are held accountable for their crimes. An end of these hostilities is the only way to bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.

C4SSA and SETF stand in solidarity with the people of northwest Syria and the broader Syrian population who have endured years of war, loss, and displacement. We appeal to governments, international organizations, and civil society to come together to put an end to the violence and to work towards a future where Syrians can live in peace and security.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Operations Manager

Citizens for a Secure and Safe America

[email protected]

Maria Cure, Director of Communications

Syrian Emergency Task Force

[email protected] |+1 (202) 285-5755