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Red Cross asks for access to Qusair to bring food, water and medicine

The charity said it was “alarmed” by the consequences of the continuing conflict in Qusair.

The mother of Hezbollah fighter Saleh Sabagh, 18, who was killed in a battle against Syrian rebels in the Syrian town of Qusair, right, mourns and holds his picture during his funeral, in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon
The mother of Hezbollah fighter Saleh Sabagh, 18, who was killed in a battle against Syrian rebels in the Syrian town of Qusair, right, mourns and holds his picture during his funeral, in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon
Image: Mohammed Zaatari/AP/Press Association Images

THE TOWN OF Qusair is running out of medical supplies, food and water following two weeks of fierce fighting.

The International Red Cross says it is “alarmed” by the severe consequences of the ongoing conflict for the civilians trapped in the “sharply intensified fighting”.

According to reports from inside the embattled town, many of the wounded are not receiving the care they so desperately need.

The organisation has called for both sides to “assume their full responsibilities with regard to respecting civilians and ensuring their safety”.

Robert Mardini, head of the ICRC’s operations in the Near and Middle East said they have already requested access to Qusair.

“We are prepared to enter the city immediately to deliver aid to the civilian population, provided we are able to operate in an impartial manner without preconditions of any kind.”

Thousands of civilians have already fled the city leaving everything they own behind, while thousands more are thought to be trapped inside the besieged town. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, supported by the ICRC and others, has been providing aid to many of them. Thousands of other civilians are reported to be in Qusair still – hundreds of them severely wounded and without access to medical care.

“Civilians and the wounded are at risk of paying an even heavier price as the fighting continues. We call upon all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and to take constant care to spare at all times the lives of civilians and of those no longer taking part in hostilities,” Mardini continued.

The group also urged fighters not to kill those who have surrendered or been captured, but treat them humanely.

A Syrian child is seen with her family who fled from the Syrian town of Qusair near Homs, at the Lebanese-Syrian border village of Qaa, eastern Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

As violence continues to escalate, the Syria issue remains high on the priority list for some foreign ministers. France’s Laurent Fabius indicated that a peace conference will take place in July in Geneva, later than previously expected.

Meanwhile, on the ground a car bomb has killed nine security forces in Damascus.

In Lebanon, security sources said two rockets fired from Syria landed in a border area, and Israeli war planes could be heard flying low over several parts of the country.

-Additional reporting by AFP

Read: Arms embargo against Syria rebels lifted

More: EU’s foreign ministers still can’t decide whether to arm Syria’s rebels

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