Law researchers in Syria support calls for investigations into ‘failed’ earthquakes


The Commission of Inquiry on Syriapointed to “failures that hindered the delivery of urgent and life-saving aid” to the largely opposition-controlled northwestern region in the days following the February 6 earthquakes.

Humanitarian assessments point this out more than 7,000 people killed in Syria by the natural disaster.

Rescue equipment is missing

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, the president of the inquiry, Paulo Pinheiro, supported the call for an investigation into alleged delays in obtaining aid and rescue equipment for those affected.

The people in Syria had a “right to the truth”the veterans’ rights experts stressed, adding that it was also in the interest of “international good practice” so that mistakes could be identified and avoided in the future.

“They have a right to know what exactly happened because they did not receive (aid) immediately,” he said, adding that Syrian people remained in the affected areas.completely shocked by this inability of the international organizations to support them and help” because three days after the disaster “many people could survive if one rapid, immediate response from the international community and the United Nations”.

No cessation of hostilities

Parties to the 12-year-old conflict, according to the latest report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Syrian crisis continued to commit “widespread human rights abuses and violations”. in the months leading up to the earthquake.

Even hostilities continued in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the commissioners said, “even in the areas devastated by the earthquakes. These include last week’s reported Israeli attack on Aleppo International Airport, a humanitarian aid conduit.”

The Commission of Inquiry highlighted the delays in securing access to international aid from Türkiye to the affected northwest, noting that the Syrian government demanded:a full week to agree to life-saving cross-border access to help”.

Mistrust on all sides

Cross-line aid deliveries were also made “impeded” by the government and the opposition Syrian National Army (SNA), the independent investigators said, adding that the non-state armed group Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) in northwestern Syria “also refused cross-border aid from Damascus”.

With entire communities in northwestern Syria devastated by last month’s “exceptional” disaster, Commissioner Hanny Megally explained how they had been begging for help.

“People said, ‘We need heavy equipment, we need search teams with dogs, people are still living under the rubble. Where is the UN, where is the international community to help us?’ And they could see not far away the same earthquake, while a lot of international aid is being provided on the Turkish side of the border they are all waiting for something that has not happened.”

That’s the estimate five million people need basic shelter and non-food aid in the Syrian part of the earthquake zone.

Even before the February 6 earthquakes, more than 15 million Syrians – more than at any time since the conflict began – were in need of humanitarian assistance.

Heroism in the midst of suffering

Although there were “many heroic deeds in the midst of suffering” after the earthquake, Commissioner Paulo Pinheiro insisted that the Syrian people had been abandoned “in dire need” by their government, the international community and the UN.

Syrians now need a comprehensive ceasefire that is fully respectedfor civilians – including aid workers – to be safe,” he said, before adding that the Commission of Inquiry is now investigating new attacks “including last week’s reported Israeli attack on Aleppo International Airport, a conduit for humanitarian aid”.

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