The European Union has condemned the escalation of conflict and violence in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The continuous bombing and the siege of the city is putting the already suffering population in even more danger and is moreover hindering the efforts of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance. The EU has also reminded that the Syrian authorities are primarily responsible for the protection of the Syrian people and that disproportionate attacks by the Syrian regime are unacceptable.
Brussels also reminded that the only way of ending the five-year long conflict is to create conditions for restarting intra-Syrian talks in Geneva under the auspices of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), endorsed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and agreed in talks convened by the United Nations. According to the EU, there is no military solution to the civil war and there will be no peace in the country without a genuine political transition, which is inclusive and representative of all Syrians.
The EU is vigorously pushing for the resumption of the Geneva talks as soon as possible in cooperation with the two ISSG co-chairs. Brussels calls for an immediate halt of fighting in Aleppo to facilitate medical evacuations, resume deliveries of humanitarian aid and repair water and electricity infrastructure. The EU also calls for all parties to the conflict to restore the cessation of hostilities, lift all sieges and allow a country-wide access of humanitarian aid to those in need.
Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city and economic hub, has turned into a major battlefield since President Bashar al-Assad’s troops seized control of the last supply route into rebel-held areas in mid-July. The EU and its Member States are leading the international response to the Syrian conflict. They have mobilized more than €5 billion for relief and recovery assistance to Syrians in their country and to refugees and their host communities in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. The EU estimates that there are about 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria out of which about 4.5 million are in hard-to-reach besieged areas.