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Atrocities in Aleppo


FILE - A man reacts on the rubble of damaged buildings after losing relatives to an airstrike in the besieged rebel-held al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo.

“The regime of Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Iran, and their affiliated militia are the ones responsible for what the UN called “a complete meltdown of humanity."

“Carnage” is the way UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described what is occurring in Aleppo, as the Syrian government and its allies wreak devastation on the civilian population there.

At a UN Security Council Emergency Briefing on December 13th, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power spoke of the accounts of human misery that have emerged from Aleppo: “first responders describing children’s voices from beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings…; no equipment left to dig them out, and no doctors left to treat them. Bodies lying in the streets of eastern Aleppo, but no one dares collect them, for fear of getting bombed or shot to death in the process.”

Ambassador Power excoriated the three UN Member States overseeing this brutality. “The regime of Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Iran, and their affiliated militia are the ones responsible for what the UN called “a complete meltdown of humanity,” she said. “And they are showing no mercy. No mercy despite their territorial conquests.”

Ambassador Power noted that when “civilians are able to run the gauntlet and make it across the frontlines, Syrian intelligence agencies are pulling people aside and sending them away, perhaps to be gang-pressed to the front lines, likely to the same prisons where we know the Assad regime tortures and executes those in its custody.”

The United States, said Ambassador Power, joins the Secretary-General and others in reiterating the call on the Assad regime and Russia “to stop their assault on Aleppo, to protect civilians…[and] allow impartial, international observers into the city to oversee the safe evacuation of the people who wish to leave, but who justifiably fear that if they try, they will be shot in the street or carted off to one of Assad’s gulags.”

To the Assad regime, Russia and Iran, Ambassador Power asked, ”Is there literally nothing that can shame you?”

To the other UN Member States, Ambassador Power declared, “You have a responsibility to denounce these atrocities…You have to tell those responsible that they must stop…Appeal to Moscow, to Damascus, to Tehran that they have to stop. Use every channel you have – public, private…,through someone who knows someone. The lives of tens of thousands of Syrians still in eastern Aleppo…and hundreds of thousands more across the country who are besieged, depend on it.”

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