U.S Department of State
Morgan Ortagus, Department Spokesperson
November 21, 2019
The United States strongly condemns the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks yesterday on the al-Qah camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in northern Idlib. Munitions targeting civilians exploded 25 meters from the Qah Maternity Hospital, killing at least 12 civilians and injuring at least 50 other people. The location of the hospital had been deconflicted via the United Nations in order to protect it from targeting. This horrific incident follows a well-documented pattern of vicious attacks on civilians and infrastructure by the Assad regime, with Russian and Iranian support. Regime attacks have now killed more than 1,000 civilians and displaced at least 400,000 in northwest Syria since April of this year.
The Assad regime, enabled by its Russian and Iranian sponsors, must end its murderous campaign against the Syrian people and stop waging war in civilian areas. There can be no peaceful future in Syria without guarantees that those responsible for these brutal acts are held accountable. We urge the international community to speak with one voice to hold the Assad regime and its allies to account for its long trail of atrocities and widespread destruction. To deliberately target civilians and civilian infrastructure in violation of international law undermines the political process outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We thus strongly support the efforts by the UN Board of Inquiry to investigate attacks on UN-supported medical facilities in northwest Syria.
We call on all parties to return to a ceasefire in the area and allow unhindered access to address the humanitarian disaster this violence has caused. We reiterate that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict.