By Fatih Erel
The UN on Tuesday warned of intensified violence in eastern Aleppo as recent attacks "appear to form the prelude to a siege, designed to force the capture of the city through an already-documented strategy of surrender or starve".
In a statement, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said it was “gravely concerned for the safety of civilians, including a reported 100,000 children, living in eastern Aleppo city, where violence has reached new heights in recent weeks".
Noting that neighborhoods of Aleppo city are "being pounded daily by aerial bombardments" from the Syrian regime and its allies, causing mass civilian casualties, the commission added: "Over 25 hospitals and clinics have been destroyed in aerial bombardments since Jan. 2016."
The commission said two million civilians in Aleppo currently lack access to running water.
About a humanitarian corridor in Aleppo to help evacuate the city and to provide humanitarian aid, the commission said: “Regardless of the existence of humanitarian corridors, the warring parties' legal obligation not to direct attacks against civilians and civilian targets remains."
The UN statement follows that made by president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, on Monday where he described Aleppo as “beyond doubt one of the most devastating urban conflicts in modern times”.
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