UN Security Council calls on Russia to end Aleppo bombing

Several members of UN Security Council call on Russia to halt bombing around Aleppo

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A boy stands near a wall of his school riddled with holes, due to what activists said was an air strike carried out yesterday by the Russian air force in Injara town, Aleppo countryside, Syria January 12, 2016.

A group of United Nations Security Council members on Wednesday called on Russia to halt bombing around Aleppo in support of Syrian regime forces, which has been accused of worsening the dire humanitarian crisis in the area.

The 15 members of the council came together in a closed-door meeting to discuss the situation as the UN warned on Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of civilians could be cut off from food supplies if opposition-held Aleppo is encircled by Russia-backed Syrian regime forces

"Russia's air strikes have been a direct cause of this crisis around Aleppo," New Zealand's UN ambassador, Gerard van Bohemen, said in a briefing after the meeting.  

"We do call on them to show decency and cooperate with the UN."

It is expected that international powers including the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia will hold a meeting on Thursday in Munich to revive the Syrian peace talks.  

However, diplomats are not sure the move would be enough to reach a ceasefire in the country as the Russian-backed regime offensive continues.

French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters that "The regime and its allies cannot pretend they are extending a hand to the opposition while with their other hand they are trying to destroy them."

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin accused other members of the Security Council of taking advantage of the humanitarian crisis in Syria for political purposes.

"They rather crudely use humanitarian matters in order to play, we believe, a destructive role as far as the political process is concerned," said Churkin.

"This propagandistic use of the Syrian humanitarian file is not going to deter Russia from doing the humanitarian work we are doing with the Syrian government," he added.

Churkin continued to say that Russia had been discussing a possible ceasefire and humanitarian issues with the United States.

"We hope that the meeting tomorrow in Munich will help pave the way for a speedy resumption of the [peace] talks," he said

TRTWorld and agencies