ALEPPO – Russia on Saturday vetoed a resolution by the United Nations Security Council, which demanded the cessation of air raids over Syria’s Aleppo city. The French-drafted UN resolution had also called for a truce and free passage for humanitarian aid throughout Syria.
Russia has backed the Syrian regime with materiel and a year-long air campaign against Syrian rebels and Islamists. While vetoing the resolution, Russia stressed their air raids were necessary and confined to eliminating “terrorists.”
This UNSC debate comes amid intensifying Russian and Syrian airstrikes on eastern Aleppo. Hundreds of civilians have been killed over the past few weeks. The exact number of fatalities is difficult to establish as many bodies remain buried under rubble.
The infrastructure which supports Aleppo’s civilian population has also been critically damaged and in some cases utterly destroyed. Local activists reported that while the Russian and Syrian governments claim to target extremists, “airstrikes in Aleppo destroy homes, hospitals and schools.”
The Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, confirmed that the Syrian and Russian governments intentionally bomb hospitals. “Most hospitals are unmarked rebel field facilities. Keeping civilians as a human shield is a well-known terrorist tactic,” Ambassador Yakovenko said.
According to local sources, a building belonging to the ElSaad Pharmaceutical Company was hit with six rockets on Wednesday. “The building was destroyed completely, leaving the city with an acute shortage of medicine,” human rights activist Zakariya Hamdo told ARA News.
Syrian and Russian jets have resumed their bombing of rebel-held districts, reinforcing Shia militias and the Syrian Army as they lay siege to eastern Aleppo. Violence has intensified in Aleppo since a Russian-American ceasefire deal broke down last month.
Reporting by: Helin Saeed | Source: ARA News