Five years ago this month, peaceful protestors gathered in the streets of Syrian cities calling for reform, for basic human rights, for jobs, for opportunity, for a future. Their peaceful protests were met with bullets and eventually with chemical weapons and barrel bombs and torture and starvation.
Over the past five years, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died and millions have fled the country and millions more have been displaced within Syria’s borders.
That's why the international community is united in its belief that the civil war in Syria must end. For more than two weeks now, said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, "we have been able to sustain . . . a cessation of hostilities."
More peaceful conditions have made possible the delivery of emergency supplies to communities inside Syria, some of which have not seen assistance in years. Over 300 trucks have now provided aid to at least 150,000 people.
That is about one third of the almost half million people who are living in absolutely besieged areas. Despite this progress, the U.S. remains deeply concerned about the Bashar al-Assad regime's practice of removing badly needed surgical kits from the those supplies.
The International Syria Support Group continues to work with the United Nations to see that future requests for access are honored and that the humanitarian assistance is available specifically for East Ghouta, in Daraya, in Dier-ez-Zor, and throughout Syria.
To end the unspeakable suffering and continued violence in Syria, the United States remains committed to working through the International Syria Support Group to reach a negotiated political transition, in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012.