Condemning the Deaths of Red Cross/Red Crescent Staff in Syria and Yemen (April 6)

Marie Harf
Acting Department Spokesperson,
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 6, 2015

The United States strongly condemns the reprehensible attacks against Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement staff and volunteers in Syria and in Yemen on April 3, leading to the deaths of four more relief workers. In Syria, these aid workers were retrieving bodies of the deceased and preparing shelters for people fleeing the fighting near Idlib, while in Yemen they were killed by sniper fire while attempting to evacuate the wounded. In each case, personnel were identified by the Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem.

We remind all armed groups of their obligations under international humanitarian law to respect and protect civilian personnel engaged in humanitarian efforts and we call on all parties to ensure their unimpeded access to people in need of assistance.

Attacks against innocent civilians and aid organizations by armed groups and the Syrian regime is unacceptable and must not be permitted by the international community. Impartial and neutral humanitarian organizations must be allowed to continue their critical work saving lives free from threats from armed groups.

The United States maintains an ironclad commitment to assisting those impacted by the conflicts in Syria, in Yemen, and around the world.