As Military Escalation Grips Syria, Oxfam Decries World Powers for Fueling War

As reports of a new military offensive by Syrian and Russian forces made headlines on Wednesday, Oxfam International rebuked wealthy and powerful nations for flooding the war-torn country with weapons, fueling bloodshed on all sides, and failing to adequately assist those seeking aid and refuge.

In a briefing entitled (pdf), Oxfam singles out the United States, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey for “fueling violence and violations of war in Syria through arms and ammunition transfers to parties to the conflict.”

The report also slams the international community for its “cursory and insincere” efforts to arrive at a political resolution to the crisis.

“The violence in Syria is intensifying, fueled by a divided international community and the transfer of arms and ammunition to warring parties,” said Andy Baker, head of Oxfam’s Syria crisis response, in a statement accompanying the report. “Faced with this grim situation, many Syrians are literally jumping in the water to seek a better future.”

“The violence in Syria is intensifying, fueled by a divided international community and the transfer of arms and ammunition to warring parties. Faced with this grim situation, many Syrians are literally jumping in the water to seek a better future.”
—Andy Baker, Oxfam

For those Syrians forced to flee their homeland, says Oxfam, too many are being met with a faltering aid response from the international community, including from governments most able to afford assistance.

“Most wealthy countries are not contributing their fair share to the aid response—appeals are now funded at 44 percent only,” the report states. “They have also failed to provide safe and legal routes for Syrians to their territory, including not doing enough to ensure that vulnerable refugees are offered resettlement and other forms of humanitarian admission in sufficient numbers.”

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