British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the “overwhelming majority” of 400,000 deaths during the five-year “slaughter” in Syria.
“There are millions in that country, who in our view, will not accept rule by him again,” Johnson added.
During a speech delivered Friday at the Chatham House think tank in London, Johnson said a new way of moving away from Assad should be found. Underlining that the future of Syria should mean a united country, Johnson said he could not “see that happening under Assad.”
Johnson added that the UK must be “tough” with Russia and made a personal vow that he would not “shy away” from telling Putin’s ministers that they must end the bombing campaign in Syria.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch on Thursday said that the Assad regime and Russian forces committed war crimes during their month-long aerial bombing campaign of rebel-held areas in Aleppo between September and October.
HRW pointed out that the bombing campaign killed more than 440 civilians, including more than 90 children. It added that Russian and Assad regime airstrikes on rebel-held areas “often appeared to be recklessly indiscriminate…and included the use of indiscriminate weapons such as cluster munitions and incendiary weapons.”
The New York based rights group said it analyzed satellite imagery that showed more than 950 new distinct impact sites consistent with the detonation of large high explosive bombs across the area during the month.
“Those who ordered and carried out unlawful attacks should be tried for war crimes,” HRW stressed.
Nearly 20,000 children have fled their homes in the battered eastern Aleppo in recent days, the UN said on Friday, warning that time is running out to provide them with the help they desperately need.
The UN said over 31,500 people have fled their homes in opposition-held eastern Aleppo since November 24, when the Assad regime and Russian forces intensified their brutal offensive on the city.
The UN children’s agency Unicef estimated that around 60 percent of those displaced, around 19,000, are children.
The number of displaced children could be far higher with Syrian rights groups putting the overall number of people on the run from the regime’s onslaught in eastern Aleppo at more than 50,000 since Saturday. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)