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Escalation Of Syrian Crisis Following Chemical Weapons Investigation Would Aggravate Civilian Suffering, ICRC Warns

“Any escalation of the Syrian crisis following an apparent chemical weapons attack will aggravate civilian suffering, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “Areas plagued by heavy fighting, including the countryside around Damascus, eastern Aleppo and Deir Ezzor province, are already reeling from breakdowns of services such as water, electricity and garbage collection, it said in a statement,” the news service writes, adding, “There are acute shortages of medical supplies, food and water in several areas in Syria cut off from aid supplies for months, according to the ICRC, which called for unconditional access to deliver relief supplies.” According to Reuters, “[t]he Geneva-based ICRC has tried to reach civilians trapped in the old city of Homs since early July but it says it has been blocked by Syrian government authorities.” The news service adds, “At least 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict that began in March 2011, and every day hundreds of people die or struggle with injuries, according to the ICRC” (Nebehay, 8/29).