UN Chief – Ban Ki-moon
UN Chief – Ban Ki-moon

ISTANBUL (AA) – Monday’s attacks in Syria’s Tartus and Jableh have shown that there is nowhere safe for Syrians, the UN secretary-general said on Tuesday.

Ban Ki-Moon made the comments during a side event on Syrian NGOs at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

More than 65 people were killed in a series of synchronized bombings in the regime-held provinces. The Daesh terrorist group has since claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The UN secretary-general described the current situation for Syria as “heartbreaking”, adding that the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country had been of gravest concern.

“Despite this continuous horror, Syrians working to help and to protect each other everyday is an example of humanity and solidarity,” he stressed.

Discussions in the meeting highlighted the scope and variety of difficulties in providing humanitarian aid in Syria.

During the side event attended by NGOs operating in the war-torn country, Samah Bassas, CEO of the Syrian Relief Network (SRN), said access to day-to-day information had been lacking thus making response difficult.

“For that, we are trying to close the gap and move into other areas,” Bassas said.

SRN is an umbrella organization of more than 60 organizations inside Syria and the neighboring countries of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Hazem Rihawi, co-head of the Turkey Health Cluster, which operates under the World Health Organization’s leadership, said that, unlike Bassas, he had access to information rapidly but coordinating an adequate response proved more problematic.

Rihawi said, this was mainly due to the lack of funding and the absence, or scarcity, of Syrians in a leadership position of NGOs.

The five-year-old civil war has now driven close to 5 million people to seek sanctuary in neighboring states.

Hosting almost 3 million of these refugees, Turkey has spent nearly $10 billion on caring for them since the start of the crisis.

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