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Syria: earthquakes threaten people already ravaged by war in north-west

More than 5,000 killed by twin earthquakes


Four million people in opposition-held north-west Syria were already living in appalling conditions 


‘The Syrian government must allow aid to reach all areas affected by the earthquake without restriction’ - Aya Majzoub


Responding to the catastrophic twin earthquakes which struck Turkey and Syria yesterday, Aya Majzoub, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, said:

“Amnesty International expresses our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in these devastating earthquakes. 


“Hundreds of thousands of people across Turkey and Syria have been affected, yet people in areas already devastated by years of conflict face additional challenges.


“Four million people in opposition-held north-west Syria have had to live in appalling conditions with little access to healthcare. 


“The immense destruction, coupled with an acute economic crisis and a fierce winter storm, is also hampering the delivery of humanitarian aid. 


“The international community must immediately mobilise resources to support the rescue and rehabilitation efforts in northern Syria. 


“The Syrian government must allow aid to reach all areas affected by the earthquake without restriction. 


“All parties, particularly Syrian government and Russian forces, must immediately cease attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as indiscriminate attacks in the region.”

Internally-displaced people already in dire circumstances

Two powerful earthquakes devastated large areas of Turkey and Syria yesterday, and more than 5,000 people have reportedly been killed and thousands more injured. The International Rescue Committee said that the earthquakes have devastated regions of Syria where a large number of internally-displaced people and vulnerable families are living. Since last August, the Syrian government has enforced a blockade on civilians in predominantly Kurdish areas in the northern Aleppo region, obstructing their access to fuel and other essential supplies. Last July, Amnesty published a report showing how millions of internally-displaced people in north-west Syria were living in dire conditions in camps, entirely dependent on international aid for survival.

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