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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs