The Guardian reports that: The bombing of a Syrian refugee camp that left dozens of civilians dead and wounded and was blamed on the government of Bashar al-Assad was “despicable” and “could amount to a war crime”, senior UN figures have said.
The airstrikes on Thursday afternoon near Sarmada, a town in Idlib province just 12 miles away from Reyhanli in Turkey, left the camp in ruins, with one witness describing a scene of horror, with tents on fire and body parts strewn around the area.
There has been virtually no progress towards meeting Australia’s miserly commitment to resettle in 12,000 Syrian refugees. At last count, total was 26.
It is not possible to say whether any of the people killed and assessed would have qualified for resettlement in Australia.
But this attack does serve to highlight the fact that, having lost our homes in bombing raids, these defenceless refugees are now in danger of being killed in the refugee camps.
The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, should into things.
- Take immediate steps to speed up the acceptance of Syrian refugees into Australia.
- Seek bipartisan support for increasing the current quota of 12,000. (The Greens have suggested 50,000)
Unfortunately, Australia’s effort in accepting refugees is not going to become an election issue. Neither leader of the major parties as intestinal fortitude to make it one.