Friday, December 09, 2016

Russia Oblivious to Condemnation in Syria

"We condemn the actions of the Syrian regime and its foreign backers, especially Russia, for their obstruction of humanitarian aid."
"[Hospitals and schools have been targeted] in an attempt to wear people down."
Joint statement, Canada, U.S., Britain, Germany, Italy, France

"Diplomacy has not delivered for the people of Aleppo, that's for sure."
"[The U.S. would] never give up [attempting diplomatically to sway Syria and Russia to take part in negotiations with the opposition to arrive at a solution, abandoning bombing missions and anti-humanitarian siege tactics]."
"It is not us that walked away from diplomacy. It is Syria and [the] Russian Federation."
Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Syrian rebels reject withdrawal plan amid Russia's chilling warnings
The Syrian army has seized two-thirds of east Aleppo [AFP]
The six Western powers that issued the joint condemnation of Syria and Russia have called upon both to execute an immediate ceasefire in Aleppo. While at the same time accusing Russia of blocking efforts to alleviate the anguish of the hundreds of thousands of Syrian Sunnis who remain trapped in the rebel-held eastern portion of the city. For its part, Russia seems immune to accusations, blandly ignoring them and carrying on as they have done in deliberately destroying schools, hospitals and hope for the besieged residents while denying they would engage in such tactics.

The critics of Russia warn that if they have their way the United Nations would investigate reports of war crimes committed in Syria by the regime and by their Russian helpers. There remain hopes that another five-day ceasefire might be agreed upon for eastern Aleppo to permit civilians to leave the destroyed eastern half of the city, even as rebel forces facing certain defeat, themselves debated whether to withdraw from their stronghold, now a shattered vestige of its former status.

Three-quarters of east Aleppo is now in the hands of the Syrian army and its Iranian-backed Shiite militias. If no other blatant symbol of sectarian hatred breeding atrocities come readily to mind, the allied factions of Hezbollah, Iranian Republican Guard, Shiite militias and Alawite regime military aligned to destroy the majority Syrian Sunni population's hope for equality status in a restructured Syria stands as testament to realities in the Middle East.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring the situation, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad took possession of the Old City in the centre of Aleppo, with Sunni rebels withdrawing -- demonstrating practicality as the better part of valour in the situation confronting them -- into what remains of their territory. Even while negotiations leading to full withdrawal from the rebels' vital stronghold are underway.

The White Helmets: The beating heart of Syria's revolution
The White Helmets - The New Arab

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