Last updated: 31 August, 2012

Syrians ‘fear for their lives every minute’

Syrian civilians are living in a constant state of fear, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday, warning of a fast deteriorating humanitarian situation across large parts of the country.

“People fear for their lives every minute of the day,” said Marianne Gasser, head of the ICRC in Syria.

“Humanitarian needs have risen sharply as civilians face ever more difficulty obtaining basic necessities, either because the items are not available in some parts of the country, or because the violence prevents people from going to get them,” she added.

The ICRC warned that the situation in large swathes of the country “is currently edging towards irreversible deterioration.”

Many people have lost their jobs, and many families their breadwinner, the statement added. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by violence in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, where fighting broke out mid-summer.

The Syrian authorities have maintained severe restrictions on the operations of aid agencies despite the escalating crisis, and have rejected calls for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor.

More than 26,000 people have been killed in violence since an uprising erupted against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad in March last year meeting with a fierce crackdown by the army, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.