Call for Se­cu­rity Coun­cil meet­ing on Syria vi­o­lence

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil will meet to dis­cuss the es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence in Syria’s sec­ond city of Aleppo, diplo­mats said.

The meet­ing was re­quested by Bri­tain, France and the United States af­ter in­tense air strikes top­pled build­ings and killed at least 45 civil­ians in Aleppo on Septem­ber 24, two days af­ter the Syr­ian army an­nounced an of­fen­sive to re­take the rebel-held east of the city.

UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki­moon said he was ap­palled by the “chill­ing” up­surge in fight­ing in Aleppo, and warned the use of ad­vanced weaponry could amount to war crimes.

Mr Ban cited re­ports of air strikes in­volv­ing the use of in­cen­di­ary weapons, bunker-buster bombs and other pow­er­ful mu­ni­tions in the of­fen­sive launched by the Syr­ian army to re­cap­ture the city.

He warned that “the sys­tem­atic use of these types of in­dis­crim­i­nate weapons in densely pop­u­lated ar­eas may amount to war crimes.”

A week-long cease­fire agreed between the United States and Rus­sia ended on Sept 19 and ef­forts to re­vive the truce failed.

Mean­while in Washington, the US and its Euro­pean al­lies said that it was up to Rus­sia to bring about a truce in its ally Syria through “ex­tra­or­di­nary steps”.

The al­lies pressed Moscow to al­low un­fet­tered hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance, halt the Syr­ian regime’s “in­dis­crim­i­nate” bomb­ing of its own peo­ple and cre­ate the con­di­tions nec­es­sary to re­sume po­lit­i­cal tran­si­tion talks led by the United Na­tions.

“The bur­den is on Rus­sia to prove it is will­ing and able to take ex­tra­or­di­nary steps to sal­vage diplo­matic ef­forts,” read a joint state­ment that in­cluded the for­eign min­is­ters of Bri­tain, France, Ger­many, Italy, the United States and the Euro­pean Union’s top diplo­mat.

“Pa­tience with Rus­sia’s con­tin­ued in­abil­ity or un­will­ing­ness to ad­here to its com­mit­ments is not un­lim­ited,” the diplo­mats said.

“The out­ra­geous bomb­ing of a hu­man­i­tar­ian con­voy, the Syr­ian regime’s pub­lic de­nun­ci­a­tion of the CoH, con­tin­u­ing re­ports that the regime is us­ing chem­i­cal weapons, and the un­ac­cept­able on­go­ing regime of­fen­sive on east­ern Aleppo, sup­ported by Rus­sia, bla­tantly con­tra­dicts Rus­sia’s claim that it sup­ports a diplo­matic res­o­lu­tion.”

The al­lies reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to de­stroy­ing the Is­lamic State group and urged Rus­sia to fo­cus on the ji­hadists as well.

They called on Rus­sia to “re­store the cred­i­bil­ity of our ef­forts, in­clud­ing by halt­ing the in­dis­crim­i­nate bomb­ing by the Syr­ian regime of its own peo­ple”.

They also de­manded “im­me­di­ate, ex­panded” hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­cess to all parts of Syria, de­plor­ing de­lays and ob­struc­tion caused pri­mar­ily by the Syr­ian regime. –

Photo: AFP

Boris John­son, UK for­eign sec­re­tary, and US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry at­tend a Se­cu­rity Coun­cil meet­ing in New York on Septem­ber 21.

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