Aleppo reels from strikes

Russia accused of ‘war crimes’

Agence France-Presse . Aleppo

Residents of Syria’s Aleppo faced worsening food and medical shortages on Monday as warplanes again pounded the city after Western powers at the UN accused Russia of war crimes.
A fresh wave of intensive air strikes hit the city’s opposition-controlled east from dawn on Monday, an AFP correspondent in the city said, on the morning after Moscow and Damascus faced fierce criticism at the UN Security Council.
During an emergency session US ambassador Samantha Power accused Russia of ‘barbarism’, while the British and French envoys went even further.
‘War crimes are being committed here in Aleppo,’ French ambassador Francois Delattre said, while Britain’s envoy spoke of ‘a new hell’ unleashed on Syrians with bunker-busting bombs and more sophisticated weaponry used to pummel residential areas.
‘It is difficult to deny that Russia is partnering with the Syrian regime to carry out war crimes,’ said British ambassador Matthew Rycroft.
Moscow hit back at the accusations on Monday, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denouncing ‘the overall unacceptable tone and rhetoric of the representatives of the United Kingdom and the United States, which can damage and harm our relations’.
The worst violence to hit the divided city in years continued on Monday, with residents warning that stores of food and vital medical supplies were dwindling to nothing.
Monday’s air strikes were particularly heavy on two rebel-held districts, Al-Mashhad and Sayf al-Dawla, and sparked large fires, the AFP correspondent said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said ‘dozens of raids’ had hit districts of east Aleppo after midnight on Sunday, with many wounded and at least two civilians killed.
It was the fourth day of intense air raids on the city since a defiant Syrian regime launched a new assault, vowing to retake all of Aleppo following the collapse early last week of a short-lived ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States.
The Observatory said Monday that at least 128 people, nearly all civilians, had been killed in Syrian and Russian raids on eastern Aleppo since late Thursday.
Among the dead were 20 children and nine women, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
At least 36 civilians, including 11 children and five women, were also killed in raids targeting rural areas of Aleppo province, he said.
A Syrian military source told AFP regime forces had no intention of letting up on rebel-held areas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *