The Assad regime and allied militias have been trying to derail the Aleppo cease-fire meant to allow the evacuation of civilians from the eastern part of the city, Turkey’s foreign minister said Wednesday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and other Turkish officials, Russia, and Iran have been working to provide a cease-fire in Aleppo, deliver humanitarian aid, and take necessary steps for civilians, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Wednesday.
“Now we see that the regime and some groups have tried to derail [the cease-fire] and there are Russia and Iran here, there are powers supported by Iran, and of course there is the regime here,” Cavusoglu said.
“It is our wish that no one points the finger at someone else in such a humanitarian situation. There is an agreement here, and this must also be implemented,” he added. “People have been slaughtered, children have been killed. So now, everyone is responsible here.”
Activists in besieged eastern Aleppo said the Assad regime forces as well as their allied Iranian and Iraqi militias prevented the evacuation of the wounded and sick from eastern Aleppo. They said that these militias forced the buses that were supposed to evacuate the first batch of civilians to go back after they arrived at the Ramousah checkpoint. Iranian-backed militias added new conditions to the evacuation deal. They wanted a simultaneous evacuation of the wounded from the regime-held towns of Kefarya and Foua, which are under rebel siege.
The activists said that Russian and Assad regime warplanes bombed the neighborhoods of Ansari, Mash-had and Sukkari in eastern Aleppo earlier on Wednesday. They added that regime forces also pounded the rebel-held pocket with dozens of heavy artillery shells, injuring dozens of civilians trapped inside.
The UN’s human rights office on Tuesday said it had reliable evidence that 82 civilians were shot on sight in four areas of besieged eastern Aleppo.
Thousands of people are trapped in the last remaining neighborhoods still in rebel hands, facing intense bombardment as pro-regime troops advance.
“We’re filled with the deepest foreboding for those who remain in this last hellish corner” of eastern Aleppo, UN human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told a news conference.
Colville said that of the 82 civilians shot by pro-regime forces, 11 were women and 13 were children.
“Yesterday evening, we received further deeply disturbing reports that numerous bodies were lying on the streets,” Mr Colville added. “The residents were unable to retrieve them due to the intense bombardment and their fear of being shot on sight.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)