French President Francois Hollande met with the President of the Arab World Institute and former French Minister of Culture Jack Lang and several French intellectuals in the Elysee Palace on Saturday. The meeting discussed the situation in Syria, particularly in Aleppo.
Lang and the accompanying delegation expressed deep concern over the plight of Syrian civilians, especially refugees and displaced persons. They stressed the need to prosecute those who commit, facilitate or promote war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.
The delegation sent an open letter to the French president on February 18 urging France and its European partners to do whatever they can to ensure the protection of the Syrian people and the people of Aleppo in particular.
The letter called on France to take action in the UN Security Council in order to demand an immediate end to the Russian and regime bombing of Syria; to lift the siege on Syrian cities and towns; and to give unrestricted access to humanitarian aid in all areas across Syria.
Russia continues with its relentless bombing campaign in Syria, especially on Aleppo province. Russian airstrikes have not spared hospitals, schools, and populated areas. The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that the airstrikes had targeted 27 medical facilities since Russia started its campaign to prop up Assad in late September. At least 58 civilians, including 11 medical staff, have been killed in Russian airstrikes. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Al-Arabiya)