A UN official has depicted a bleak picture of the humanitarian situation in Syria and asked for full access to people in need. "After seven years of conflict that continues to see escalation after escalation, the needs of Syrians have never been higher," Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller told the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Xinhua reported. Of the 13.1 million people in need, some 5.6 million are in acute need, she said. Despite the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2401 in February that demanded a cease-fire across Syria, attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have reached some of the highest levels since the conflict began, she said. In the first three months of 2018, the United Nations has verified 72 attacks on health facilities, compared with 112 attacks in all of 2017, said Mueller. At the same time, cross-line humanitarian access remains extremely constricted, with only five convoys deploying so far in 2018, she said. Mueller called for firm steps to ensure that all parties respect the rules of war, adding "civilians must be provided protection, with constant care taken to spare them and the infrastructure they rely on. Attacks on hospitals in particular must end. The wounded and the sick must be afforded the treatment and care they need." She asked for safe, sustained and unimpeded access to all people in need. In addition, when convoys deploy, She said medical items must stop being removed, stressing "there is no reason why items previously agreed with the authorities for delivery are removed at the last minute. These are critical life-saving items, and they must be allowed on our trucks."