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SG/SM/20644
22 March 2021

Secretary-General Strongly Condemns Recent Attacks in Syria, Including Artillery Strikes against United Nations-Supported Hospital

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the recent wave of attacks in north-west Syria, which have killed and injured dozens of civilians.  A hospital in western Aleppo Governorate hit by artillery strikes on 21 March had received United Nations support.  There have also been reports of shelling of a residential neighbourhood in Aleppo city causing civilian casualties, as well as air strikes close to densely populated areas with camps for displaced people.  Aerial attacks have also been reported near Bab al Hawa on the Syria-Turkey border, where life-saving United Nations cross-border humanitarian deliveries take place.

The Secretary-General reiterates that directing attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including medical units such as hospitals, are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law.  There must be accountability for crimes perpetrated in Syria.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the need for a nationwide ceasefire — as called for in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) — and calls on all parties immediately to renew their commitment to a cessation of hostilities.

For information media. Not an official record.