U.N. chief: Syrian starvation sieges are war crime

People shout slogans during a protest after Friday prayers, calling for the lifting of the siege off Madaya, in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province. (Reuters)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that the use of starvation as a weapon in the Syrian war was a war crime after aid workers were able to deliver food to residents in famine-struck Madaya.

“Let me be clear: the use of starvation as a weapon of war is a war crime,” Ban told reporters.

A convoy carrying desperately needed food and medicine entered the hunger-stricken Syrian town of Madaya late Thursday afternoon, an AFP journalist said.

Six white trucks emblazoned with the logo of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent entered Madaya to begin the second aid delivery this week to the besieged town, where more than two dozen people have starved to death since early December.

More trucks were to follow in the convoy, which is carrying food, medicine and other basic supplies.

Meanwhile, France, Britain and the United States on Thursday requested an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to demand the lifting of sieges in Syria and allow aid deliveries to civilians facing starvation, the French ambassador said.

The meeting expected to be held on Friday “will draw the world’s attention to the humanitarian tragedy that is unfolding in Madaya and in other towns in Syria,” French Ambassador Francois Delattre told AFP.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46