Middle East

Yemen can’t survive war on two fronts, top UN envoy tells Security Council, as coronavirus outbreak looms

With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening to deepen suffering in Yemen, now is the time for rival parties to commit to ending their conflict, UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Thursday, during an informal meeting via videoconference.

Syria coronavirus threat sparks broad UN containment effort

The United Nations and its partners are doing their utmost to support a comprehensive, multi-pronged effort to stem the impact of COVID-19 in Syria, where the viral disease has claimed the lives of two people, sickened 23 others and presented epic challenges for ensuring the smooth delivery of life-saving assistance.

UN Middle East envoys urge greater action on COVID-19 ceasefire appeal

In a joint appeal issued on Saturday, the five UN envoys to the Middle East urged warring parties in the region to work towards an immediate end to hostilities, in line with the Secretary-General’s recent call for a global ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 in Yemen: Saudi coalition ceasefire declared in bid to contain coronavirus

A ceasefire declaration by Saudi Arabia in war-shattered Yemen that was due to come into effect on Thursday has been welcomed by United Nations chief António Guterres as a way to promote peace and slow the advance of COVID-19.

Syrian air force used deadly chemical weapons in 2017 attacks, global watchdog finds

The Syrian air force used deadly chemical weapons in three separate attacks in March 2017 on the central town of Ltamenah that affected a total of at least 106 people, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a report on Wednesday.

Course of coronavirus pandemic across Libya, depends on silencing the guns

Fighting must stop immediately in Libya if it is to have any chance of staving off the COVID-19 outbreak, the top United Nations official in the North African country said on Tuesday as he condemned an attack on a major Tripoli hospital. 

Syria: Warring parties failed to abide by international law over hospital attacks

Parties to Syria’s brutal civil war, now in its tenth year, failed to abide by their obligations under international law to avoid attacks on hospitals and other civilian facilities that featured on the UN’s so-called deconfliction list, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday. 

Prison shelling in Yemen kills five women and a child: UN rights chief condemns possible war crime

The UN has condemned the shelling of the women’s section of the Central Prison in a district of Yemen’s war-torn Taizz Governerate, in the south of the country, which has left at least five women and one child dead, and wounding more than 11, with casualties expected to rise. 

Iraq: UN health agency helps beat ‘latest bottleneck’ in COVID-19 battle

With a global shortage of supplies and equipment to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the UN health agency has assisted in successfully producing urgently needed laboratory items for testing suspected COVID-19 cases in Iraq.
 

COVID-19 crisis ‘unlike any we have dealt with’, as new tragedy looms for Syria

The risk of the COVID-19 pandemic having a devastating impact on war-torn Syria is intensifying, where six million are displaced, living in conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the deadly virus, the Senior Humanitarian Advisor to the UN Special Envoy to Syria warned on Thursday.