Mercy Corps is horrified to learn that at least 17 Syrians died yesterday, as airstrikes appear to have targeted their makeshift shelter on the border with Jordan. In an area between the Jordan-Syria border – known as the berm – an estimated 80,000 Syrian civilians, mostly women, children and elderly people are stranded as they hope for a chance to cross into Jordan and to safety. Informal settlements like these are the last resort for Syrian civilians who have nowhere else to go.
This is not the first time that informal settlements have been targeted, killing and injuring people who fled the violence in Syria and sought safety elsewhere. On May 5, airstrikes struck a similar informal settlement on the border with Turkey where Mercy Corps was providing relief, killing 28 and wounding 40 more.
This indiscriminate violence is unacceptable. We call upon all sides to the conflict to cease targeting of innocent civilians, provide for unfettered humanitarian access to civilians in need of help and protect aid workers who are trying to alleviate the suffering of countless men, women and children. We have had enough. The people of Syria have had enough.