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Monday , December 6 2021

Arab League appeals for urgent Aleppo truce

CAIRO, Oct 4, (Agencies): Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit on Tuesday called for an “urgent ceasefire” in Syria’s battered northern city of Aleppo to allow the flow of humanitarian aid to residents. “What is happening in this city… is carnage,” Abul Gheit told an emergency meeting of representatives of the 22 members of the Cairo-based Arab League. His comments came as Syrian regime forces advanced against rebels during intense street battles in the heart of Aleppo on Tuesday, after the United States said it was suspending talks with Russia on a truce.

Washington accused Moscow of backing the Damascus government’s assault on Aleppo as it announced it was freezing joint efforts with Russia for a nationwide truce in Syria’s fiveyear war. Abul Gheit said due to this latest development Arab nations must try to secure an “urgent ceasefire” for Aleppo. The state of Kuwait said Tuesday that the massacres in Aleppo and other Syrian cities represent “a crime against humanity and a flagrant violation of international treaties, and international humanitarian law.” The remarks were made in a speech by Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League Ambassador Ahmad Abdulrahman Al-Bakur in the extraordinary session of League’s Council on the level of permanent delegates being held at the request of Kuwait to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Aleppo.

The ambassador added that such massacres also represent a flagrant violation to all religions, values, principles, and norms, adding that “the continued silence of the international community, especially the Security Council which represent a blunt disappointment to the conscience of humanity and a failure to the existing international governing system.” Al-Bakur noted that the city of Aleppo witnessed the worst atrocities marked by the use of new types of heavy weapons which were forbidden to use against civilian and populated areas, adding that “such barbaric attacks did not spare anything, no schools, hospitals, rescue centers, or houses of worship were spared.” The ambassador explained that such bombings “did not distinguish between armed combatants and civilians, elders, women and children in a hell of daily fire.” Al-Bakur pointed out that situation has deteriorated to the point of targeting UN humanitarian aid convoys, destruction and killing of their workers. The ambassador noted that this was the reason Kuwait called for the meeting.

Syrian rebels said on Tuesday they had repelled an army offensive in southern Aleppo as Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded residential areas, while nations spoke of rebuilding a peace process the United States broke off this week.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who announced on Monday that Washington was suspending talks with Moscow due to Russia’s role in the offensive, said peace efforts must carry on. Turkey, long one of the main foes of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but which has lately repaired its damaged ties with his ally Russia, said it planned to make a proposal to Washington and Moscow to resurrect a ceasefire that collapsed last month.

But on the ground there was no sign of peace with potentially the biggest and most decisive battle of the five-and-a-half year war unfolding as pro-government forces sought to drive anti-Assad rebels from their last major urban stronghold. Assad’s government, with Russian air support and Iranian ground forces, launched the assault on Aleppo last month, a week into a ceasefire agreed by Washington and Moscow.

The United States and other Western countries say Moscow and Damascus are guilty of war crimes for deliberately targetting civilians, hospitals and aid deliveries to crush the will of more than 250,000 people trapped under siege in Aleppo. The Syrian and Russian governments say they target only militants

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