World, Europe

Merkel warns of extra sanctions over Russian airstrikes

Bombing of civilians in Syria's Aleppo could see EU increase economic penalties

Ayhan Şimşek   | 21.10.2016
Merkel warns of extra sanctions over Russian airstrikes German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a press conference at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium on October 21, 2016. ( Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )

Berlin

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN 

Russia could face further EU sanctions over its bombing campaign in Syria, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday.

She told a news conference that an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels had agreed to consider all available options, including economic sanctions, to stop the “barbaric” airstrikes on Aleppo.

“We have not only said that we could take measures against Syria but rather against all who are allied with Syria,” she said. “In these circumstances this also applies to Russia.”

EU heads of state and government condemned the airstrikes by the Syrian regime and Russia in a joint communique. They demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities and unhindered humanitarian access to Aleppo and other parts of the country.

Merkel said Russia’s unilateral “humanitarian pause” in Aleppo was not sufficient to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians who had been under siege for months. Under international pressure, Russia has extended the temporary cease-fire to Saturday evening.

Hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed or injured in Russian and Syrian airstrikes since Sept. 19, when Bashar al-Assad’s regime announced the end of a week-long truce.

Syria’s civil war, which is in its sixth year, has resulted in more than a quarter of a million deaths.

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