As the Syrian city of Aleppo was hit by 200 air strikes over the last weekend (24-25 September) leaving the city without water, the European Union has issued a joint statement on the catastrophic humanitarian situation, urging Russia to “restore credibility to the joint efforts“ and support a diplomatic solution to the war.
The US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Samantha Power, said that Russia had told outright lies about its conduct in the conflict. Ms Power said that Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, was lying the UN that Russia was committed to a peaceful solution. “Instead of peace, Russia and Assad make war. Instead of getting life-saving aid to Syrians, Russia and Assad are bombing hospitals and first responders,” Ms Power said. She also called on the Council to “have the courage to say who is responsible and tell Russia with one voice to stop”.
In the meantime, Aleppo has become the key battlefield of the Syrian civil war. During the last weekend, the city witnessed an outrageous bombing of a humanitarian convoy, the Syrian regime’s public denunciation of the cessation of hostilities and continuing reports that the regime is using chemical weapons. The ongoing offensive on eastern Aleppo, led by the regime of President Asad and supported by Russia, blatantly contradicts Moscow’s claim that it supports a diplomatic resolution. Ms Power said that the Syrian regime and Russia were “laying waste to what is left of an iconic Middle Eastern city”.
In response, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to destroy Da’esh in Syria and Iraq, urged Russia to go back to the negotiating table and demanded an expanded humanitarian access to all areas of Syria. The EU also deplored the destruction caused by the bombing of humanitarian deliveries to those in desperate need and fully supported the UN investigations into the use of chemical weapons in the conflict.