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.”
Meanwhile, UNICEF quoted a doctor in the city as saying: “Many children, possibly more than 100, unaccompanied or separated from their families, are trapped in a building, under heavy attack in east Aleppo.”
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he received reports of “cold-blooded assassinations of entire families […] executions, particularly of women and children; people burned alive in their homes; continued targeting of hospitals.”
“Such atrocities revolt consciences. More than ever, there is an urgent need to stop hostilities in Aleppo,” Ayrault said in a statement issued Tuesday.
“The supporters of the regime, beginning with Russia, cannot allow this logic of vengeance and systematic terror to be committed […] without taking the risk of being accomplices,” he continued. “I call on the United Nations to use all the mechanisms without delay to establish the truth about what is happening in Aleppo and the international community to ensure that these crimes do not go unpunished.”
Activists inside eastern Aleppo said that the Assad regime forces and their allied Iranian and Iraqi militias summarily executed all medical staff in Alhayat Hospital in the neighborhood of Kallasah on Monday.
Iranian and Iraqi militiamen burned 9 children and 4 women alive in the neighborhood of Firdous, local activists said. Activists added that they heard screams and groans coming from civilians trapped under the rubble of bombed houses in eastern Aleppo with no one to rescue them in light of intense bombing by the Assad regime and Russian warplanes.
Regime forces are pounding the remaining rebel pocket in eastern Aleppo with tank shells, aircraft, and artillery fire. Nearly 100,000 civilians, of whom 60% are women and children, are currently trapped inside a 2-sq area in the neighborhood of Sukkari and parts of Saif Addawua.
Regime forces and Iranian-backed foreign militias backed by Russian aerial cover have launched an all-out assault to retake eastern Aleppo from the FSA and rebel fighters since November 15. The onslaught followed a three-month siege as well as ferocious aerial and artillery bombardment by regime forces and their allies. Internationally banned weapons, including the poisonous chlorine gas, cluster bombs, napalm, white phosphorus, and bunker-buster bombs have been widely used in the regime assault on eastern Aleppo.
Over 1,300 civilians have so far been killed and thousands more injured in besieged eastern Aleppo since November 15, while thousands of families have been forced out of their homes. Hundreds of people who fled to regime-held western Aleppo have gone missing. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)