Europe

EU urges end to Aleppo attacks, allowing aid deliveries

The suffering of innocent civilians through fire-bombing, shelling, and assault is unacceptable, say 2 top EU officials

25.09.2016
EU urges end to Aleppo attacks, allowing aid deliveries

BRUSSELS

Decrying recent attacks on civilians in Aleppo, Syria that have taken over 350 civilian lives as an “unacceptable breach of international humanitarian law,” the EU has called for an end to the renewed hostilities, as well as the provisioning of humanitarian aid and negotiations for a solution.

"The situation in Aleppo has seen a dramatic and rapid deterioration over the past 48 hours, despite continuing efforts of the international community to re-establish the previous cessation of hostilities," said a joint statement issued late Saturday by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Christos Stylianides, the commissioner for humanitarian aid and civil protection.

"The indiscriminate suffering being caused among innocent civilians by the fire-bombing, shelling and assault, and the deprivation of supplies including through the deliberate targeting of a humanitarian convoy last week, leading now to the cutting off of water supplies to the majority of civilians still in the city, is an unacceptable breach of international humanitarian law.

"We therefore call on all those countries with influence on the regime, as well as those with contacts among the armed opposition, to apply the maximum pressure to cease the attacks, allow unhindered and continuous humanitarian access to those in need, and resume political negotiations under the auspices of the UN in Geneva as swiftly as possible. The EU will review the additional actions it can take to bring all parties to the negotiating table."

Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has recently come under intense attacks by regime and Russian forces, with the latest attacks on Saturday killing over 90, and injuring more than 270 civilians.

Since Sept. 19, when the Syrian regime declared the end of a week-long cease-fire, at least 359 civilians have been killed and 1,407 injured by the Assad regime and Russian airstrikes on Aleppo, in the country’s northwest, according to civil defense officials and medical sources in the city.

The attacks have targeted districts in the eastern part of Aleppo besieged by regime forces.

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

The Syrian Center for Policy Research, a Beirut-based nongovernmental organization, has put the death toll from the six-year-old conflict at more than 470,000.

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