Middle East, Europe

EU calls for truce in Aleppo to allow humanitarian aid

- Mogherini, Stylianides demand Syrian authorities, allies ‘renew the humanitarian pause in Aleppo’

Satuk Buğra Kutlugün   | 26.10.2016
EU calls for truce in Aleppo to allow humanitarian aid File photo of Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini holding a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on October 18, 2016.

Ankara

BRUSSELS (AA) - The European Union has once again called for a truce in Aleppo for humanitarian aid to reach the war-torn city

A joint statement on the issue was published by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on late Tuesday. 

"At the end of the humanitarian pause declared by Russia in Aleppo, no agreement has been reached on the medical evacuation of wounded civilians and the delivery of aid, in spite of continuous efforts by the EU, UN and all humanitarian actors on the ground," read the statement.

Mogherini and Stylianides said thousands of residents are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

"On 21 October, the European Council invited us to continue pursuing the emergency humanitarian initiative. We therefore reiterate the urgency to allow humanitarian deliveries in parallel with the evacuation of the injured civilians, in accordance with international humanitarian law. This must be done while ensuring the safety and security of humanitarian and health care personnel during aid delivery and medical evacuation," the European officials said.

"We call on the Syrian authorities and their allies to renew the humanitarian pause in Aleppo and to issue the facilitation letters to allow the inter-agency convoy as planned in the UN October aid delivery plan," they added.

Mogherini and Stylianides said all parties "must demonstrate unequivocally a genuine commitment to allow humanitarian aid operations" to address the urgent needs of Syrian civilians.

"All Syrians in dire need, whoever they are, have the basic right to receive lifesaving assistance," the statement said. "All parties to the conflict should stop the shelling of civilian areas and medical structures in Aleppo city."

"Deliberate attacks against civilians, including humanitarian and health care personnel, and against civilian and medical infrastructure, are clear violations of international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes," it added.

"There is no military solution to the Syrian civil war," the statement said.

Since Sept. 19, when the Bashar al-Assad regime announced the end of a weeklong truce sponsored by Washington and Moscow, Syrian and Russian warplanes have pounded opposition-held parts of Aleppo. 

Scores of civilians have reportedly been killed or injured in the attacks, which remain ongoing. 

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.

Reporting by Hasan Esen, writing by Satuk Bugra Kutlugun


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