Syrian army troops, backed by a Russian air cover, made new gains in Aleppo province on Tuesday. File photo
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ALEPPO – The Syrian regime army forces have completely surrounded the city of Aleppo, besieging the Syrian opposition rebels and over 400,000 civilians. The Syrian opposition has asked the international community to stop the siege.
In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, the Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee’s General Coordinator, Dr. Riyad Hijab, condemned the siege, and called on the international community to take concrete steps to protect civilians in Aleppo.
“For over two weeks, the Assad regime, Russia and Iran have mercilessly raided Aleppo city and forced its civilian population to flee,” he said. “On 24 July Assad’s and Russia’s barbaric attacks destroyed all the remaining hospitals in the city.”
“It is as if Assad’s and Russia’s forces are seeking to exterminate the Syrian people: first through their bombardment, and then, if they happen to survive, through hunger, thirst, or lack of medical and health care,“ he said.
The opposition leader accused the UN of ignoring the voice of the Syrians. “We call on the international community to respect its responsibilities and protect Syrian civilians. There are no people in the world who need this protection more than the Syrian people,” he said.
Therefore, the Syrian opposition called on the UN Security Council to hold a session on the situation of Aleppo, and called on UN member states to protect civilians by taking concrete measures to end indiscriminate airstrikes, breaking Assad’s sieges, to ensure humanitarian access, and to end impunity for war crimes.
Although the Syrian opposition has accused Assad of killing civilians, Syrian opposition rebels have continued shelling Kurdish neighborhoods in Aleppo, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians. Moreover, they have kidnapped civilians, stealing their money, and torturing them, according to local activists and eyewitnesses.