On hearing reports of the Lebanese armed forces and sectarian elements terrorizing the refugee population in the Syria-Lebanon border town of Arsal, Hadi al Bahra, President of the Syrian Coalition, urgently called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to protect of the population and investigate the incident.
While in New York, President al Bahra delivered a letter to the UN Secretary-General demanding that the UN immediately investigate the matter and report to the UN Security Council on circumstances leading to the incident, culpability, and recommendations for next steps. The letter also demanded that UNIFIL assume the role of protecting the Arsal refugees or that the UN deploys permanent observers to monitor, report, and act as deterrence for future attacks. President al Bahra will follow-up on the contents of the letter during his 27 September meeting with the UN Secretary-General.
Arsal currently hosts tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the tyrannies of Assad and ISIS. Conditions in the camps are perilous. Residents face life-threatening dangers created by a quickly deteriorating humanitarian situation, ISIS attacks and Assad bombardments. The Syrian Coalition has previously warned the international community of the possible escalation of the situation in Arsal due to the dire humanitarian situation and constant threat of violent attack. The latest events underscore the urgent need for the international community to address the situation in Arsal.