UK special representative for Syria, Gareth Bayley, said that “during peace talks Russia deliberately focused on decimating the opposition in Aleppo,” stressing that the objective of Russia’s scorched earth policy is to eradicate the moderate opposition and strengthen Assad’s negotiating position.
In remarks he posted on Twitter on Tuesday, Bayley said that Russian airstrikes kill “not just moderate opposition forces- who were represented in Geneva…but large number of civilians.”
“I strongly urge Russia to consider how it wishes to engage in the Geneva process, as a supporter or a spoiler for peace. Its incessant bombardment significantly overshadowed its talk of commitment to UN-led negotiations and UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” Bayley stressed.
Bayley went to say that Russia “cannot continue to claim a seat at the table whilst deliberately bombing the moderate opposition and killing civilians in blatant breach of international humanitarian law. We have seen strikes against hospitals, schools and even a UK funded bakery.”
The British envoy pointed out that “the UK continues to support the Syrian opposition and efforts to ensure negotiations do not fail. We urge Russia to prove its stated desire for a peaceful solution through changing its deeply harmful actions on the ground.”
Bayley posted a map of Syria showing the areas in Aleppo and Latakia provinces targeted by the Russian intense airstrikes during the now suspended Geneva peace talks.
The Geneva talks have been suspended until February 25 as a result of Assad and Russia’s refusal to implement Articles 12 and 13 of UN Security Council resolution 2254 calling for the cessation of attacks on civilians, lifting the sieges, the delivery of aid to civilians in need and the release of detainees. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)