Refugees International expresses its outrage and deeply sadness with the news that seven members of the Syrian Civil Defense (the White Helmets) were killed in a recent attack. The White Helmets are an extraordinary humanitarian organization that provides a beacon of hope for Syrians caught up in the brutal conflict.
As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump prepare to meet in Washington, D.C. next week – their first in-person meeting since President Trump took office in January – Refugees International (RI) calls on both leaders to place humanitarian concerns at the forefront of their discussion of the Syrian conflict and their shared desire to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS).
Refugees International is shocked and saddened to learn about the deaths this weekend of eight White Helmets volunteers in apparent Syrian government airstrikes. The strikes reportedly hit a center run by the Syria Civil Defense, the rescue group also known as the White Helmets. The airstrike was one of the deadliest against for the White Helmets organization, which works to assist and rescue civilians struggling to survive the six-year-old Syrian civil war.
Refugees International condemns today’s heinous chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria’s Idlib province, as well as the follow-on airstrikes targeting hospitals where scores of victims were being treated. The alleged repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime during the ongoing conflict is a violation of international law and a war crime, as is the targeting of civilian medical facilities.
As participants prepare for the Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region conference in Brussels this week, Refugees International calls on the international community to recognize and respond to the continued urgency of humanitarian needs inside Syria, and of many Syrians in the surrounding region.