In recent weeks there have been numerous deadly attacks against Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement aid workers in Syria, Yemen, and Mali.
In Syria, two volunteers with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were shot and killed as they were retrieving bodies of the deceased and preparing shelters for people fleeing the fighting. Fifty Red Crescent volunteers have now lost their lives since the beginning of the conflict in Syria.
In Yemen, two clearly-identified Red Crescent workers were shot and killed in the southern port city of Aden while evacuating wounded people to a waiting ambulance. These killings followed the death of another Yemen Red Crescent volunteer in Al-Dhale province, also while evacuating the wounded, earlier in the week.
In Mali, an International Committee of the Red Cross staffer was killed in an attack on a clearly-marked aid truck near Gao.
The United States strongly condemns the reprehensible attacks against Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement staff and volunteers, said Acting State Department spokesperson Marie Harf. The United States reminds all armed groups of the obligations under international humanitarian law to respect and protect civilian personnel engaged in humanitarian efforts, and calls on all parties to ensure their unimpeded access to people in need of assistance.
Attacks against innocent civilians and aid organizations by any armed actors, including national armies like the Syrian regime, are unacceptable and must not be permitted by the international community. Impartial and neutral humanitarian organizations must be allowed to continue their critical, life-saving work free from threats from any armed actors.
In a statement, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement called on all parties involved in conflict zones to respect its aid workers and guarantee their safety and unimpeded, immediate access to people in need.
The United States maintains an ironclad commitment to assisting those impacted by the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and around the world.