An unexpected emergency UN Security Council meeting was held yesterday after there was an increase in violence in Aleppo yesterday that was caused by the Syrian regime’s forces and militias affiliated to them advancing on the eastern neighbourhoods of Aleppo that are under the control of the opposition. The meeting was held at the request of France.
The Permanent Representative of France to the United Nation Francois Delattre said that France requested an immediate Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in Aleppo “where the worst humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century is unfolding before our eyes”. Delattre said in a press statement that we must “stop the bloodshed, evacuate populations safely and assist those in need”.
When asked about the purpose of this call for a meeting, Delattre emphasised that Russia “has the means to put pressure on the Syrian regime to stop this massacre” in eastern Aleppo. The French Representative to the UN added that this crisis has put the UN’s credibility at stake and may encourage “the terrorists”. He also warned that “the worst is not necessarily behind us, and other massacres committed in cold blood may take place”.
The Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN Matthew Rycroft demanded that Russia “change its position” and stop blocking western initiatives to reach a political solution in Syria. He said that Aleppo is witnessing “a dark day” and that “there are laws of war and all of these rules have been breached in Aleppo”.
The Permanent Representative of the US to the UN Samantha Power demanded that “neutral international observers” be deployed to Aleppo to ensure that civilians are evacuated “completely safely”.
In her speech to the Security Council, Power said that the civilians who want to get out of the eastern districts of Aleppo “are afraid, and rightly so, of being killed on the road or from being transferred to a prison camp”. However, her Russian counterpart Vitaly Churkin had a completely different account of the situation in Aleppo to that of the UN and other members of the Security Council.
During the emergency meeting, Churkin said that the Syrian army backed by Moscow liberated the city, dozens of schools, care homes for the elderly and places of worship from the grip of terrorists. He also added that there is no evidence that Syrian forces killed the dead people in the streets.