News / Middle East

UN Orders Syria Humanitarian Aid Access

The United Nations Security Council votes on resolution on humanitarian aid for Syria at U.N. headquarters in New York, Feb. 22, 2014.
The United Nations Security Council votes on resolution on humanitarian aid for Syria at U.N. headquarters in New York, Feb. 22, 2014.
VOA News
The U.N. Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution on Syria's humanitarian crisis, demanding that both sides in the conflict provide immediate access to deliver essential aid to millions of people in desperate need.

The 15-member council united on Syria for the first time Saturday. Russia and China — which have shielded Syria's government throughout the country's three-year-long civil war — voted in favor of the resolution.

Saturday's vote does not threaten sanctions. Russia insisted that this reference be dropped from the original Western- and Arab-backed text. But it does express the council's intent to take "further steps" in the case of non-compliance.

The resolution demands immediate cross-border aid access and condemns rights abuses by the Syrian government and armed opposition groups.

It also insists that all parties immediately cease all attacks against civilians and stop the indiscriminate use of weapons in populated areas — including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the council immediately after the vote that the resolution should not have been necessary, because "humanitarian assistance is not something to be negotiated; it is something to be allowed by virtue of international law."

The U.N. chief said it is "profoundly shocking ... that both sides are besieging civilians as a tactic of war."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the newly adopted resolution could be "a "hinge-point in the tortured three years" of the crisis. He called it "a resolution of concrete steps to answer the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today."

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, said the resolution makes more than 15 "very specific demands."

These include an end to human rights abuses, arbitrary detention and torture, an end to the militarization of medical facilities, the departure of all foreign fighters from Syria, and implementation of the Geneva I communiqué.

Meanwhile, fighting continued in Syria on Saturday.

Government forces captured two rebel-held areas on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after days of intense fighting near a decades-old cease-fire line between Syria and Israel.

A Syrian television report, citing a military official, said troops and pro-government gunmen known as National Defense Forces captured the areas of Rasm al-Hour and Rasm al-Sad, south of the town of Quneitra.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed troops were on the offensive, adding that the air force was taking part in the attack.

The Observatory also said Syrian air raids had hit a rebel-held bastion north of Damascus while clashes raged on the outskirts of the capital.

In neighboring Lebanon, a suicide attacker blew himself up at an army checkpoint, killing two people after soldiers tried to search his car in the eastern town of Hermel, a Shi'ite Hezbollah militia stronghold.

Areas under Hezbollah domination in eastern Lebanon and southern Beirut have suffered a string of violent attacks in recent months, since the group acknowledged it has sent fighters to support President Bashar al-Assad's troops in Syria's war.

At least one of the dead in the suicide attack was a soldier. Until Saturday, the attacks had all killed civilians.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John from: US
February 23, 2014 9:20 AM
If the US and Russia would stop the proxy war there this would be over already. Get out of the way and let the people of this country decide what it will be.

by: Ali from: Iran
February 22, 2014 7:08 PM
hey guys, Assad never attacked Israel and never attacked US interests... I am just saying that if Israel did not take him out and the US never instructed the israhellis to destroy his military - maybe he is not all that bad. maybe the stories that you hear are just some sort of Saudi fabrication? the Saudis are the biggest liars in the ME and they own most of your Media - check it out..!!!
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 23, 2014 12:08 AM
Any Iranians that joined in with assads crimes, or simply trying to defend him in any way from being prosecuted by the people of Syria should be held accountable as accomplices. Thats a fact. As for hezzbolah (the know terror organization) they are helping assad. So it's time the world pin assad to the wall for his crimes and extinguish this terrible situation. No war criminals get away these days unless they commit suicide.
In Response

by: Habash from: Saudi Arabia
February 22, 2014 9:13 PM
hey Ali, why you executing thousands and thousands of Sunni Arabs women and children?? why?? and let me tell you (Iranian filth) we don't need USA and Israel to crush you, we will do it on our own.

by: Anonymous
February 22, 2014 6:05 PM
A STRONG message should be sent to assad by the majority of the UN that if assad is in fact responsible of crime he will be facing a tribunal. This message needs to sink in to his head so he has understanding. He does not currently take ANY responsibility for anything he has done. Every Syrian life counts. Because he thinks he can get away with it without facing any tribunal he is continueing his murder spree of bombarding entire cities, towns, and villages killing all walks of life. This needs to be stopped immediatly. The guy needs to be taught to be responsible for your actions, something his father never taught him, and his father did the same, murdered thousands.

by: Anonymous
February 22, 2014 5:56 PM
EXCELLENT NEWS.... Bashar al assad is not going to like this... He wanted the people of Syria to buckle by hardship (A form of terror). This is excellent news, if only they could capture assad and hold him responsible for ALL of his murders in Syria. You do the crime, you do the time. You cant murder anyone you want and as many as you want... There is a consequence for taking human lives, especially thousands. It doesnt matter if you are a leader of a country or not... It's a crime. The only way this war will EVER end is if assad is arrested.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs