Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has criticised the international response to the brutal conflict in Syria.

The Deputy raised his concerns regarding the response of the international community and the United Nations Security Council to the ongoing Syrian War, with the Tánaiste earlier this afternoon.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann he said, “Sadly, this month marks the 7th anniversary of the outbreak of war in Syria. Since 2011, close to half a million people have been killed; over 13 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance and almost 6 million Syrians have been displaced, most forced to flee to neighbouring countries.

“This violent conflict and unrest has led to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in modern times and the global response has repeatedly fallen short.

“The steady outflow of refugees, the dangerous threat of the proliferation of nuclear weapons combined with the deepening sectarian divide have fuelled fears that this war may engulf farther regions; affecting more and more innocent Syrians.

“It is particularly harrowing that in recent weeks we have witnessed the unfolding of further atrocities in Eastern Ghouta, where once again it is understood that war crimes have been committed.

“The grim reality is that the international community and the UN Security Council, which is hamstrung by the use of its veto, have been ineffective in mediating a ceasefire.

“International diplomacy has done little if anything to protect those caught in this conflict to date and aid conveys to besieged areas continue to be blocked.

“Ireland is currently seeking a seat on the UN Security Council and with that in mind I have raised the use of the Russian veto which is obstructing the enforcement of a sustainable period of ceasefire, with the Tánaiste this afternoon.

He concluded, “Our Government must continue to strongly press international counterparts to pursue a full diplomatic resolution to the Syrian conflict and recommit to providing long-term humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Syrians.”