WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State applauded the unanimous passage of a UN Security Council resolution on Saturday to address the Syrian crisis.
Under Resolution 2139, the UN issued demands that all parties cease all hostilities and allow freedom of movement to enable both humanitarian and medical assistance.
"Demands that all parties immediately cease all attacks against civilians, as well as the indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment...
"... demands that all parties allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, cease depriving civilians of food and medicine indispensable to their survival, and enable the rapid, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians who wish to leave..."
Secretary John Kerry called the "overdue resolution" a potential "hinge-point" that "if fully implemented, will ensure humanitarian aid reaches people in Syria whose very lives depend on it." The UN Security Council's demands, he cautioned, "are only first steps," as it remains for the Syrians to fully implement the resolution.