ICRC says laws of war ignored in Syria

May 13, 2013 at 12:24 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, May 13 (UPI) -- The basic rules of war have been largely ignored in Syria as the lack of security hampers relief efforts, the Red Cross said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that 4 million people have been displaced during the Syrian civil war and other 1.2 million have fled to other countries,.

Director of Middle East operations for the ICRC Robert Mardini said some Syrians are getting relief because of donor appeals but the situation remains grave for millions of civilians.

"Despite our repeated calls for the parties to the conflict to respect the basic rules of war, the reality on the ground does not show any improvement," he said in a statement. "Hundreds of civilians are still killed or wounded every day. Thousands (of people) remain detained or missing."

U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay said last week that Syrian attacks on the towns of Baida and Banias may have amounted to war crimes. Reports of military build-up along the border with Lebanon may be in preparation for a further escalation of violence, she said.

Mardini added that about one-quarter of the Syrian jobs are gone and food prices in some areas have increased as much as 1,000 percent. The ICRC said it was issuing an appeal for more than $65 million in additional funding to help with its efforts in Syria.

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