Dozens of non-government organizations denounced the so-called humanitarian corridors Russia and the Assad regime announced they had opened in the surroundings of besieged rebel-controlled areas of Aleppo. Many NGOs described the announcement as “unacceptable” and “shocking.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, around 39 Syrian, regional and international humanitarian organizations said that the joint proposal made by Russia and the Assad regime is inappropriate on the humanitarian level.
The statement stressed that a real humanitarian operation should not force residents to choose between fleeing Aleppo toward their attackers and staying under constant bombardment in the besieged areas.
“As long as the shelling and fighting continue, and in the absence of measures to restore confidence, there is no a legitimate reason to make civilians in Aleppo’s besieged parts believe that the so-called humanitarian corridors are safe,” the statement said.
The NGOs called upon the United Nations to take action to ensure the safety of civilians who decide to leave the besieged areas.
The statement made it clear that Russia’s proposal of ‘safe corridors’ must not create the impression that those who choose to remain in Aleppo will become de facto legitimate targets, adding that going through those passages will certainly involve major risks for residents of the besieged neighborhoods.
The Syrian Committee for Human Rights (SCHR) on Wednesday said it has documented no fewer than 68 massacres mostly by regime and Russian forces against civilians across Syria during the month of July. Over 2,120 people, including 365 children and 207 women, were killed across Syria in July. Nearly 37 more civilians died under torture in the prisons of the Assad regime during the same period.
Aleppo province bore the brunt of the Assad regime and Russian attacks on rebel-held areas as regime and Russian air forces escalated attacks on the rebel-held parts of the city in an attempt to fully encircle the rebel-controlled eastern parts of the city.
A total of 32 massacres were committed in Aleppo in July with over 1,008 people killed, the highest death toll recorded in Aleppo in a single month since the start of the revolution back in 2011.
The UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura on Friday said that the UN and its partners on the ground in Syria should be the ones who are delivering aid given their in-depth experience and the mandate they have.
“How do you expect convoys of humanitarian aid to actually reach those people if there is shelling and bombing from the air and from the ground,” Mistura said. He pointed out that civilians trapped in eastern Aleppo should not be forced to leave, and if any do want to leave, the choice should be their own. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Al Jazeera)