News / Middle East

ICRC Negotiating Medical Evacuations From Syria's Homs

Damaged houses in handout picture taken by Syrian National Council (SNC) member Moulhem Al-Jundi in Karm Al Zaytoon, a neighbourhood of Homs, February 23, 2012.
Damaged houses in handout picture taken by Syrian National Council (SNC) member Moulhem Al-Jundi in Karm Al Zaytoon, a neighbourhood of Homs, February 23, 2012.
Lisa Schlein

The international Red Cross tried in vain Saturday to get into the besieged Syrian city of Homs, to evacuate wounded ( from the Baba Amro district).  Red Cross officials say they hope to resume negotiations with Syrian authorities and opposition groups in Homs on Sunday, but that Saturday's talks produced no results.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is in negotiations with Syrian authorities and the opposition at both the local and central level to organize a second medical evacuation.

The Red Cross evacuated seven sick or wounded people from the besieged Baba Amro district of Homs on Friday.  The agency confirms two wounded French journalists were not among the group transferred.  The Red Cross also relocated 20 women and children to a safer area.   

ICRC Spokeswoman, Carla Haddad-Mardini says Red Cross delegates are ready to resume the life-saving operations in an instant.

“We need to be prepared and our teams on the spot are ready to enter anytime.  But, an evacuation operation does take time because you need to organize things on the spot.  But , the convoys are ready.   Everything is ready.  It is just we need to clear this with all sides before entering because the security conditions are difficult on the spot,” she said.  

Haddad-Mardini says the Red Cross needs to have approval from all sides concerned before it can begin transferring the wounded to the nearest hospital.  She says negotiations to this effect are ongoing and everyone is hoping the operation will be renewed.  

The central city of Homs has been under heavy bombardment for three weeks.  The Red Cross spokeswoman says it is not possible to know how many people have been killed and wounded.  

“Homs has been cut off for awhile from life-saving material and life-saving activities and we cannot say more on what is happening inside the area of Baba Amro because we need to be able to enter regularly to assess the situation and to be able to respond to the needs accordingly. We need to be there to see it and to get first-hand information.  And, since yesterday, we have not been able to return.  That is the reason discussions are ongoing with the different sides,” she said. 

Haddad-Mardini says the Red Cross so far has not been successful in getting Syrian authorities to agree to a daily two-hour pause in the fighting.  She says it is critical to get this daily lull so Red Cross and Red Crescent workers can deliver humanitarian assistance to the victims.  

She stresses the Red Cross is not just asking for a pause in the fighting in Homs and Baba Amro.  She says people in all affected areas and regions in the country are in need of help.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid