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Moscow to Roll Back from ICC Membership, Russian Air Raids Kill 5 Children in Aleppo | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The International Criminal Court is based in The Hague and was established in 2002 to prosecute war crimes (AFP Photo/Martijn Beekman)

Moscow announced on Wednesday its determination to formally withdraw its signature from the founding statute of the International Criminal Court, claiming that the tribunal has failed to live up to hopes of the international community.

Russia had signed in 2000 the Rome Statute of the ICC, which was established to prosecute war crimes. Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement it is withdrawing its signature on President Vladimir Putin’s orders.

What is more is that Russia’s extensive military campaign in Syria has gone a step further with its air strikes, hitting near a children’s hospital and a school in rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Wednesday.

The brutal raid is comes during the second day of renewed bombing that has killed at least 20 civilians, a war monitor, medics, and emergency workers said.

The air strikes are part of a wider escalation by the Syria regime and its allies including Russia, which launched coordinated missile strikes against Syrian Opposition zones on Tuesday and for the first time used its only aircraft carrier.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the air strikes on eastern Aleppo had killed at least five children and an emergency worker. They were carried out by either Russian or Syrian jets, it said. The Observatory said districts struck included Shaar, Sukkari and Karam al-Beik.

Tuesday’s bombing on eastern Aleppo appeared to mark the end of a pause inside the city declared by Russia on Oct. 18.

The Observatory and residents said the city’s east was hit by rocket strikes by jets, barrel bombs dropped from helicopters and artillery fired by government forces.

“The helicopters won’t stop for a single moment,” Bebars Mishal, a Civil Defense worker in opposition-held Aleppo, told Reuters. “Right now, the bombing won’t let up.”

The Civil Defense is a volunteer rescue service that operates in rebel-held areas.