UN refugee of­fi­cial shocked by de­struc­tion in Aleppo

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

BEIRUT — The UN’s top refugee of­fi­cial says the dam­age to the Syr­ian city of Aleppo is “much big­ger” than what he had thought.

Filippo Grandi of the UNHCR ex­pressed shock at the level of de­struc­tion and how much “ev­ery­thing has been ru­ined.”

He spoke after tour­ing Aleppo on Wed­nes­day. UNHCR is the first UN agency al­lowed to visit the city since Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces pushed out rebel fight­ers from Aleppo’s east­ern dis­tricts in a pun­ish­ing of­fen­sive a month ago.

Grandi says: “You drive for miles and miles — you see de­stroyed civil­ian houses, de­stroyed schools, de­stroyed hos­pi­tals.” His also de­cried U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ban on refugees and visa hold­ers from Syria and six other Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries. Grandi asks how can Trump “turn them back” and “not con­sider giv­ing them pro­tec­tion?”

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