Two Oxfam Aid Workers Killed in Syria Attack

Published February 20th, 2020 - 07:41 GMT
An aerial view taken on February 19, 2020 shows a man riding his motorcycle through destroyed buildings in the Syrian town of Ihsim in the southern countryside of Idlib. Omar HAJ KADOUR / AFP
An aerial view taken on February 19, 2020 shows a man riding his motorcycle through destroyed buildings in the Syrian town of Ihsim in the southern countryside of Idlib. Omar HAJ KADOUR / AFP
Highlights
"Our love and thoughts are with their families. We condemn the attack in the strongest possible terms. 

Two Oxfam aid workers were killed and another volunteer injured in an attack on their vehicle in Syria on Wednesday, the UK-based non-government organisation said.

The incident occurred at 2:00 pm local time (1200 GMT) in Daraa in the south of the country, Oxfam said, naming those who died as its southern hub safety officer Wissam Hazim and driver Adel al-Halabi.

Both were Syrian nationals and had worked with the NGO since 2017. A volunteer was also injured in the attack, which it blamed on an "unidenitifed armed group".

"We are devastated by the loss of two valued colleagues who were killed as they worked to deliver aid to civilians caught in the Syrian conflict," said Oxfam's Syria country director Moutaz Adham.

"Our love and thoughts are with their families. We condemn the attack in the strongest possible terms. 

"It is essential that aid workers are able to get lifesaving assistance to civilians without being attacked themselves."

The southern province of Daraa was captured by Syrian regime and Russian forces in July 2018, more than seven years after it served as the birthplace of the Syrian uprising.

But the province remains restive despite its return to regime control.

Attacks by unknown assailants on regime checkpoints and positions in Daraa have increased in recent months, with more than a dozen regime forces and two Russian soldiers killed in December last year.

Founded in Britain in 1942, Oxfam delivered aid to more than 1.2 million people with aid in Syria last year, including clean water and clothing, the charity said.

There were 128 recorded safety and security incidents affecting NGOs in Syria in the 12 months to the end of January this year, the International NGO Safety organisation said.

They included three abductions, 11 fatalities and 32 injuries.

Syria had the sixth-highest number of incidents in that period, behind the Democratic Republic of Congo (374), South Sudan (300), Central African Republic (272), Afghanistan (252) and Mali (211).

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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