France Pushing For Syria 'Safe Zones'
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says France is working with United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, who has proposed a freeze in fighting in Aleppo, in order to allow for humanitarian aid and to lay the groundwork for peace talks. Fabius emphasized that protecting Syria’s second city, Aleppo, is key, saying that it is the next target for both President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and IS. "Abandoning Aleppo would mean condemning Syria and its neighbors to years of chaos with terrible human consequences,” he said. “We are working with the UN envoy to try and save Aleppo and at the same time create safe zones where it is not possible for Bashar al-Assad's aircraft and the Islamic State armed group to pursue Syrians.” Fabius admitted that there are “quite a few people to convince, including the Americans of course” but insisted that Aleppo should be saved. The Syrian Coalition has repeatedly criticized the failure of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition to include the Assad regime in its lists of targets, warning that the Assad regime is benefiting from the strikes against ISIS and has since then escalated its attacks on opposition-held areas. “We call on the international community to take urgent measures to protect civilians in Syria through speeding up the arming of the FSA and the creation of safe havens in southern and nortrhern Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)