The UN Security Council warned of the risks that might arouse from using the so-called “safe passages” Russia has proposed to open in Aleppo at an informal meeting held on Monday to discuss the humanitarian situation in Aleppo.
The session, which was organized by the United States, Britain, France, New Zealand and Ukraine included briefings by a White Helmets rescue volunteer and doctors from the Syrian American Medical Society who recently returned from Aleppo.
Most of the participants in the meeting criticized the Russian proposal, while Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah Almouallimi described those passages as “corridors of death.”
US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power underscored that the suffering of civilians “should never be used as a political bargaining chip or a tactic of war.” “We once again urge Russia to stop facilitating these sieges and to use its influence to press the regime to end its sieges across Syria once and for all,” she said.
“Both the Assad regime and Russia are, of course, parties to the Cessation of Hostilities, which aims to de-escalate the violence and create space for a political process that as we – and most of us here – have said all along, is the only way to bring an end to this conflict. Instead, after signing onto the cessation, the Assad regime – too often with Russian help – have repeatedly attacked opposition groups that are fellow adherents to the agreement,” Power added.
Member of the Syrian Coalition Ahmed Ramadan said that Aleppo residents are calling the corridors that Russia is proposing ‘corridors of death.’ Ramadan accused Russia and the Assad regime of forcing civilians out of their homes through continued bombardment.
“What is taking place right now is not battles, but a complete and systematic destruction of the city of Aleppo and its residents, whether they are civilians or fighters,” Ramadan told AFP in late July.
Ramadan pointed out that the Syrian opposition sees in the Russian proposal a war crime and a crime against humanity as regime forces, backed by Russia and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ militias, intend to empty the city of its population. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)