New York

21 June 2017

Statement by the Secretary-General regarding the situation in Syria

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

I remain deeply alarmed at the depths of human suffering being endured across Syria. Daily life is dangerous and desperate for millions of people. Civilians continue to be killed, injured and displaced at a terrifying rate. I am also alarmed that places of refuge, such as hospitals and schools continue to be targeted.

I am particularly concerned about the perilous situation for civilians in Raqqa who are trapped and face threats from every direction. The situation is also grim for those civilians stuck in other besieged and hard-to-reach areas, some of whom have been deprived of food and basic medical assistance for years on end.

The United Nations and humanitarian partners are doing all they can to stem the suffering in Raqqa and across Syria, often at great personal risk.

I make an urgent appeal to all those conducting military operations in Syria to do everything in their power to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, as fighting continues in Raqqa and elsewhere. It is also critical for all parties to facilitate improved humanitarian access to allow aid to reach those in urgent need of life-saving assistance without delay.