Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Ilah Alfahd said that the Assad regime and Russia undermined all remaining chances of political solution in Syria, adding that their ongoing onslaught on Aleppo is a new war crime.
Alfahd called upon the international community to shoulder its responsibilities in protecting civilians and putting an end to the violations of international laws and UN resolutions by the Assad regime and Russia.
The UK foreign minister Boris Johnson and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault called on the Assad regime and its Russian allies to end the siege on Aleppo.
“The ministers solemnly called upon the Syrian regime’s allies to bring an immediate end to these operations, which violate the truce agreed in Munich and international law,” a joint statement said following a closed meeting in Paris on Thursday.
The statement said the consequences of the siege “are already disastrous and could generate further refugees”. The siege also “makes it impossible for peace negotiations to resume.” The joint statement also called for the cessation of hostilities agreement “to be fully and immediately restored, and for progress towards the establishment of a transitional authority with full executive powers.”
The European Union called for “an immediate humanitarian pause in fighting to ensure medical evacuations and the delivery of medicine, food and water from and into Eastern Aleppo.”
A joint statement by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian aid and Crisis management Christos Stylianides on Thursday stressed that the “use of starvation of civilians through the besiegement of populated areas for which the regime bears the greatest responsibility, as a tactic of war, is contrary to international law.”
“What we need is an immediate lifting of sieges across Syria and unhindered country-wide humanitarian access. Furthermore the deliberate attacks on civilian infrastructure, in particular against medical facilities, schools, markets and internally displaced people camps constitute another grave violation of international humanitarian law,” the statement added.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the Russian and Assad regime air forces have resumed a bombing campaign that has extensively used cluster munitions, killing and maiming dozens of civilians over the past two months.
In a report released on Thursday, HRW said it has documented 47 different cluster munition attacks which killed and injured dozens of civilians in opposition-controlled territory across three governorates since May 27, 2016. The actual number of cluster munition attacks is most likely higher, the report added. The majority of the attacks focused on Aleppo. HRW also pointed out it that it has documented the use of 13 different types of cluster munitions in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)