Press Release

Hostilities in Qamishli, North-East Syria - Joint statement

28 April 2021

The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr. Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mr. Muhannad Hadi, express their concern over the recent hostilities in Qamishli city, north-east Syria, and the impact of these hostilities on civilians.

On 20 April, armed clashes and shelling, including ground strikes on military positions, erupted between armed groups in the residential neighbourhoods of Harat Tayy and Halko in Qamishli city. A negotiated permanent ceasefire was agreed between the two parties on 25 April, and reports indicate that hundreds of families have since returned to their homes.

This escalation of violence caused civilian casualties and displacements. While assessments are ongoing, as many as 20,000 people were forced to flee. Further, according to UN verified information, three civilians were killed, including two children. At least two men and two children were injured in crossfire. Mr. Riza and Mr. Hadi pass on the deepest of sympathy to the families of those who were killed and injured.

Mr. Riza and Mr. Hadi strongly condemn this recent escalation of hostilities and call on all parties to the conflict to maintain the ceasefire. The protection of civilians remains paramount in all circumstances and the blatant disregard for civilian safety runs contrary to international human rights law, as well as obligations under international humanitarian law that all parties to the conflict are bound to respect.

For further information:
Danielle Moylan, Spokesperson OCHA Syria, moylan@un.org
Torsten Flying, Strategic Communications Officer OCHA Regional Office for the Syrian Crisis, torsten.flyng@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.

Hostilities in Qamishli, North-East Syria - Joint statement

Imran Riza

Imran Riza

RCO
Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator
Mr Riza (Pakistan) has over 30 years of international experience across the UN System. Before his appointment as RC/HC in Syria in September 2019, Mr. Riza was Deputy Head of Mission of UNIFIL and the Director of the Division of Political Affairs, Civil Affairs and Strategic Communications. He notably served as the UNHCR Regional Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (2011-2014) and as UNHCR Representative in Jordan (2007-2011). He also worked for UNSCOL in Lebanon and for WFP in Italy.

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