Red Cross Negotiating for Ceasefire in Syria in Effort to Aid Civilians in Hard Hit Areas

 @julia_greenberg
on February 20 2012 11:03 AM
Syrian Refugees
The Red Cross (ICRC) told Reuters that the humanitarian aid organization is negotiating with Syrian officials and opposition fighters in Syria in an attempt to cease fighting in the country temporarily. The organization believes a ceasefire would allow the Red Cross to bring life-saving aid to civilians. Reuters

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told Reuters that the humanitarian aid organization is negotiating with Syrian officials and opposition fighters in an attempt to cease fighting in the country temporarily. The organization believes brokering a ceasefire would allow the Red Cross to bring life-saving aid to civilians in hard hit areas.

The ICRC is exploring several possibilities for delivering urgently needed humanitarian aid. These include a cessation of fighting in the most affected areas to facilitate swift Syrian Arab Red Crescent and ICRC access to the people in need, chief ICRC spokeswoman Carla Haddad told Reuters.

Reuters reports that the Red Cross has requested a two-hour ceasefire in order for the aid organization to reach locations hit hardest by the conflict.

Clashes throughout Syria have become increasingly more violent and frequent. Syrian President Bashar Assad continues to attempt to quell protestors, but neither the government nor opposition indicate any interest in backing down. Fighting between the protestors and the military has become more aggressive in recent months and many hard hit areas have seen persistent violent.  

There are conflicting reports of how many civilians have been injured and killed in the ongoing Syrian uprising against President Bashar Assad. According to the United Nations, more than 6,000 civilians are estimated to have been killed in the nearly 11-month-old uprising. Feb. 4, 2012 marked one of the bloodiest days of the conflict with Syrian forces killing at least 200 people and wounding hundreds more in the western city of Homs. 

The Red Cross has worked alongside the Syrian Arab Red Cresent (SARC) since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in March 2011 in an effort to assist civilians in meeting basic needs, especially first aid. Between June and December 2011, the Red Cross and SARC were able to offer medical assistance for thousands of wounded individuals, distribute food parcels, blankets and hygiene kits for more than 100,000 people, and offer 30,000 school kits to children from low-income families who were affected by the uprising. The Red Cross has also donated ten vehicles to the SARC, four of which were mobile first-aid/health units. 

Related Article: Marie Colvin: Who Was American War Correspondent Killed in Syria? [VIDEO] 

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