At 3:00pm today, the United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency session on the humanitarian situation in Syria, focusing on the besieged area of Madaya, where over 40,000 Syrians remain in urgent need of unimpeded and unconditional humanitarian access, and sustained medical care. Ahead of the Security Council’s emergency session, the Syrian National Coalition’s Special Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, appealed to Member States to take the action necessary to break the sieges across Syria:
“One-off assistance is not going to stop the systematic starvation of innocent civilians by Assad regime forces. One million people are currently trapped in besieged communities across Syria because the Assad regime is stealing aid and denying basic access. Every day, innocent men, women and children starve to death because of Assad’s sieges—but these deaths could be stopped immediately, if only Member States would take the action to enforce the Security Council's resolutions.
“The Security Council has agreed the mandate to break the sieges across Syria, and save lives immediately, including through the delivery of aid without the consent of the Assad regime. Member States must now do what it takes to ensure that the UN can fulfil its mandate to deliver aid irrespective of consent. This should include air drops by those States currently conducting air operations against ISIS in Syria. Airdrops will bring immediate relief to thousands in need and they will send a strong signal to the Assad regime - and indeed ISIS - that the international community will not allow the continued use of starvation as a weapon of war."