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Monday , December 6 2021

Syria massacres a crime against humanity: Kuwait

A Syrian civil defence volunteer, known as the White Helmets, tries to pull out the body of a child from the rubble of destroyed buildings following a government forces air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Bustan al-Basha in the northern city of Aleppo on Oct 4. (AFP)
A Syrian civil defence volunteer, known as the White Helmets, tries to pull out the body of a child from the rubble of destroyed buildings following a government forces air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Bustan al-Basha in the northern city of Aleppo on Oct 4. (AFP)

CAIRO, Oct 5, (Agencies): 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, held at the request of Kuwait to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Syrian city of 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 has called upon this meeting. The ambassador called to “create and pressure the international community and humanitarian organizations to play more an effective and to address the responsibilities of moral and humanitarian role.” Earlier, Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Abul-Gheit called for a conclusive Arab stance toward the random killing, siege and starvation of civilians in Syria’s city of Aleppo. Russia said Tuesday it has sent an advanced missile system to the Syrian port of Tartus, as tensions escalate between Moscow and Washington over the five-year conflict.

The announcement came after Washington said it was suspending talks with Moscow aimed at reviving a ceasefire deal over Russia’s support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. On the ground, Assad’s forces advanced on rebels during intense street fighting in the opposition-held east of Aleppo city, which Russia has been accused of bombing indiscriminately including targeting its hospitals. The UN rights chief called for action to halt the “ghastly avalanche of violence” unfolding in Syria’s second city, which is reeling from some of the most brutal fighting in the conflict.

Russia, which has denied its strikes have hit hospitals, said it was deploying an S-300 missile system to Tartus on the Mediterranean coast. “The S-300 is a purely defensive system and poses no threat to anyone,” said defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. “It’s not clear why the placement of S-300 in Syria has caused such a stir among our western colleagues,” he said in a statement.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the Russian missile system would not affect operations in the US-led air campaign against the Islamic State group in northern Syria, and questioned why Moscow was making the move. “Last I checked, the Russians said that their primary goal was to fight extremism, ISIL and Nusra, in Syria,” he said, referring to IS and another group formerly known as Al-Nusra Front.

“Neither one has an air force… So this is something we’ll watch carefully. But it should be clear to the Russians and everybody else operating in Syria how seriously we take the safety of our air crews.” As well as operating a naval facility in Tartus, Russia runs an air base outside the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, which currently houses warplanes used in its bombing campaign in support of ally Assad. In August, a Russian official said Moscow was planning to expand into a permanent military facility its Hmeimim air base, which already has an S-400 air defence system, its most modern equipment. Washington announced late Monday that it would suspend joint efforts to reinstate a nationwide truce, accusing Moscow of abetting Assad’s assault on Aleppo. “Everybody’s patience with Russia has run out,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. A US official said Secretary of State John Kerry was focused on finding a diplomatic solution, but his talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the crisis were over. US security and foreign policy chiefs were set to meet Wednesday to discuss “diplomatic, military, intelligence and economic options” ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama, a State Department spokesman said. “Just because we’ve temporarily suspended the cooperation that we had bilaterally with Russia on Syria doesn’t mean that we’ve closed any doors on multilateral action,” Mark Toner added.

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