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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs