ICRC President Peter Maurer recently returned from Syria, including a visit inside Eastern to see the conditions people are facing. This is a statement from that trip:
My visit to Syria this week reinforces my view that wars across the region have reached a frightening new normal. Tit-for-tat battles of retribution increase in intensity with no regard for their devastating impact on civilians.
The level of suffering in Eastern Ghouta is the latest example, joining Afrin and Mosul, Sana'a and Taiz. Too often destruction seems to be the goal as the basic standards of humanity are ignored.
This week the Syrian crisis entered its eighth year. How long will the powers behind the fighting allow it to drag on? They must know already that a war of vengeance is a war without end, one in which everybody loses.
When I last visited 10 months ago there were signs of hope. Rehabilitation and returns were possible. Today, though, the situation has further degraded. What hope is there for children who have seen families destroyed and atrocities committed?