During the Dáil statements on the war and humanitarian crisis in Syria, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, condemned the lack of adherence to the norms of international law in Syria and called for an urgent ceasefire in the conflict.

Deputy Crowe said:

“This savage war has left approximately 8 million people displaced people inside Syria, 4.5 million refugees beyond Syrian borders, over 1 million people injured, and more than 400,000 people killed.

“I have continually echoed the UN’s disgust at the complete lack of adherence to the norms of international law by the warring parties in Syria. The aerial bombardment of besieged residential areas of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian jets and the use of bunker busting bombs on heavily populated civilian areas are criminal.

“I cautiously welcome the pause in aerial attacks on Aleppo today. I am calling on all sides to ensure that humanitarian corridors are open to allow civilians to safely leave the area and for humanitarian aid to safely enter.

“I have also strongly criticised the USA’s decision to directly and indirectly militarily intervening in the war and Sinn Féin strongly opposed the lifting of the EU arms embargo on Syria at the end of May 2013.

“I also want to strongly condemn the intensification of Turkey’s military attacks and its bombardment of Kurdish areas in northern Syria. Turkish jets and artillery having been bombarding areas north of Aleppo since Wednesday in an attack on Kurdish fighters and civilians.

“Turkey, the second biggest army in NATO, is attacking the same Kurdish forces who took on and bravely fought Da’esh and liberated vast areas that Da’esh and its offshoots had occupied.

“Sinn Féin stands in complete opposition to the continuation of this war and calls all sides to urgently establish a ceasefire and negotiated end to the war.”

Crowe continued:

“The Irish Government should be a leader in assisting the humanitarian response in Syria and neighbouring countries, and it must also provide a sanctuary to the vulnerable and desperate refugees that are fleeing Syria.

“Only 69 Syrians have come to Ireland from Greece under the EU relocation programme and 0 Syrians have arrived here from Italy under this same programme. That is embarrassing, shameful, and wrong. I am again calling on the Irish Government to show leadership and to urgently relocate and resettle Syrian refugees in Ireland.”