The humanitarian and human rights situation in Aleppo is dire. Secretary of State John Kerry described the situation in Syria as one of "the largest humanitarian disasters since World War II." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has described Aleppo as a slaughterhouse.
"The brutal facts," said U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Theodore Allegra, "must shock us still further. Over 275,000 people remain trapped in eastern Aleppo." Russia and the Syrian regime's recent assault have killed 400 people, including 100 children in markets, in bakeries, in schools, at water stations, in mosques, and even in hospitals.
Thousands are wounded and cannot access medical care. The people are starving and drink contaminated water. The handful of brave doctors and first responders who remain in Aleppo work tirelessly to save lives — even as they face continued assaults. The few remaining hospitals are overwhelmed; people with serious wounds are left on the street in body bags to make room for others who can be treated more quickly.
"Airstrikes by Russia and the Asad regime are the cause of this devastation, and they are the cause of this suffering," said Deputy Representative Allegra. "And let me emphasize, no pause can be a substitute for a genuine end to the violence and full access for humanitarian aid. So Russia and the regime owe the world much more than excuses. Why do they keep hitting hospitals and medical facilities, and why do they keep targeting children and women?"
"These shocking acts in Aleppo," he said, "beg for an appropriate investigation and those who commit them must be held accountable."
The United States reiterates its call for an immediate end to all violations and all abuses. Furthermore, the U.S. calls for accountability for those who perpetrate them — especially the egregious, the widespread, and the persistent human rights and humanitarian violations committed by the Asad regime against the Syrian people.