Ghadbian: Russia’s Veto Latest Attempt to Shield Bashar al-Assad

Representative of the Syrian Coalition in the United Nations Najib Ghadbian condemned Russia’s vetoing of a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for the imposition of a 7-day cease-fire in Aleppo so that humanitarian aid could reach the city’s besieged eastern neighborhoods.

Ghadhbian on Monday said that Russia’s use of its veto power in the UN Security Council was not surprising as Moscow has aided and abetted the Assad regime in its war crimes across Syria over the past 5 years. The veto Russia used on Monday was just a new attempt to shield Bashar al-Assad from justice and to enable it to carry on with its genocidal onslaught on Aleppo, he added.

The UN Security Council on Monday failed to pass the draft resolution drafted by New Zealand, Spain and Egypt.

Ghadhbian criticized the failure of the UN Security Council to save lives in Syria, stressing that it is now up to the Member States to stop the massacres being committed by the Assad regime through the imposition of a no-bombing zone as well as the launch of airdrops of aid to Aleppo.

Aleppo and its countryside have been subjected to ferocious onslaught by the Assad regime and Russian forces since November 15. Over 900 people, mostly women and children, have so far been killed and thousands more injured in the ongoing bombing campaign on the city and its countryside.

The relentless aerial bombardment forced all schools and hospitals in eastern Aleppo to close down and destroyed two civil defense centers.

Human Rights Watch also condemned the veto. “Countries on and off the Security Council should immediately work to convene an emergency Special Session of the General Assembly to explore, among other things, ways to hold perpetrators of serious crimes in Syria to account,” Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Monday.

“Russia seems to not want any interference with its & Iran’s joint military ops with Syria military in Aleppo, despite cost to civilians,” Charbonneau added.

This is the sixth time Russia uses its veto power in the UN Security Council on Syria since 2011, and the fifth for China.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies / 06.12.2016)

Congress authorizes Trump to arm Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles

Syrian Democratic Forces and Free Syrian Army fighters gesture on the back of pickup trucks in a village on the outskirts of al-Shadadi, in Hasakah countryside, Syria, Feb. 19, 2016

The House voted for the first time today to explicitly authorize the incoming Donald Trump administration to arm vetted Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles.

While the language in the annual defense bill also creates restrictions on the provision of the controversial weapons, it represents a win for Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., a fervent advocate of helping the rebels resist President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies. The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week.

Until now, the transfer of man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADs, had been implicitly authorized in the absence of an outright ban. Critics, however, view the new provision as tantamount to a policy recommendation for the president-elect.

“I’m more afraid of Congress on this issue than I am of Trump,” said Robert Naiman, the policy director at Just Foreign Policy, a liberal advocacy group that lobbied for a ban. “I think Congress is trying to tie Trump’s hands against making a realistic deal with Russia to end the Syrian civil war. And they are trying to pressure him in the direction of not doing that,” he told Al-Monitor.

Trump was outspoken about his reluctance to get dragged into the Syrian civil war throughout the presidential campaign. He has since picked hawkish advisers and candidates for Cabinet positions, including retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense.

The rebels “are being slaughtered as we speak. A genocide is taking place. It’s a black mark on American history,” McCain told Al-Monitor when asked about the MANPAD provision. “I think [Trump] is going to listen to the people he appoints as secretary of defense and secretary of state.”

Mattis is well known in military and foreign policy circles for his aggressive determination to take on America’s foes, notably Iran, including in Syria and Iraq. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee as far back as January 2015, however, he opined that the time for supporting moderate rebel fighters against Assad’s forces had “passed.”

(Click here to view a larger version of this chart with links to relevant legislation)

US-backed Syrian rebels noticed and applauded the policy change, while questioning Trump’s intention to make use of it.

“This move could have [been] a potential game-changer for the opposition a year ago … in response to Russia’s intervention, which as we’ve seen has primarily been one involving the heavy use of air power,” Bassam Barabandi, a political adviser to the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee, told Al-Monitor via email. “If Trump decides not to end American military support for the rebels, providing MANPADs could help the opposition maintain its positions in Idlib, which I suspect is where Russian air power will be concentrated on after Aleppo falls to the regime.”

The new provision was added in while the House and Senate worked out differences between the bills they passed earlier this year. The original House bill expressly prohibited the transfer of MANPADs to “any entity” in Syria, while the Senate version made no mention of them.

“The point of the conference committee is to resolve disagreements between the chambers,” a House aide told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “In this case, the conference committee’s resolution between an outright ban on sending them to Syria and the Senate’s lack of any comment whatsoever was somehow to explicitly authorize the transfer of MANPADs without any of the safety precautions that were widely deemed to be a minimum requirement for doing so.”

The “safety precautions” mentioned by the aide refer to potential technological controls that the United States has been trying to design, without much success, in case such weapons were to fall into the wrong hands. The compromise defense bill however does require the executive branch to notify Congress if it decides to provide MANPADs to the Syrian rebels, provide a detailed intelligence assessment of who would get them and then wait 30 days for any congressional reaction.

The new provision “would require the secretary of defense and secretary of state to notify the congressional defense committees, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee should a determination be made to provide MANPADs to elements of the appropriately vetted Syrian opposition,” according to the explanatory statement accompanying the compromise bill. “The conferees expect that should such a determination be made, the requirement for the provision of such a capability and the decision to provide it would be thoroughly vetted by and receive broad support from the interagency.”

Still, the compromise has outraged House lawmakers who want to keep MANPADs out of Syria. These members have long sought to explicitly ban their transfer, notably in a restriction to the Syria Train-and-Equip program in last year’s defense spending bill that was stripped out during negotiations with the Senate.

“I am disappointed that the House of Representatives’ explicit prohibition on the transfer of these dangerous weapons into Syria was reversed — behind closed doors — by the conference committee,” Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., told Al-Monitor in an emailed statement. “This brazen act shows that some in Congress still hope to further escalate the civil war in Syria. Sending these weapons would only prolong this horrific conflict — and endanger civilian airliners across the region, including in Israel.”

Conyers was one of 34 lawmakers who voted against the bill on Friday.

(Source / 05.12.2016)

Abdah Meets Barzani and Underlines Need to Stop Brutal Bombardment of Aleppo

President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Abdah met with President of Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani in Erbil on Sunday. The two sides discussed the latest developments in the region and the war crimes being committed against the Syrian people, particularly against civilians trapped in besieged eastern Aleppo where vital civilian infrastructure and medical facilities continue to be the main target of the Russian and Assad regime airstrikes.

Abdah stressed the need to stop the terrorist attacks by the Russian, Iranian, and Assad regime forces on Aleppo where over 750 people have been killed and thousands more injured. In addition to hospitals, the relentless aerial bombardment forced all schools in eastern Aleppo to close down and destroyed two civil defense centers.

The meeting touched on shared goals between the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the Syrian revolution forces, most notably fighting terrorism. Abdah thanked Barzani for standing on the side of the Syrian people in their struggle for freedom and dignity, expressing appreciation to the leadership and the people of Iraqi Kurdistan Region for hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

For his part, Barzani stressed the close links between the two brotherly Syrian and Kurdish peoples, reaffirming continued support for Syrian refugees in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. He also emphasized the important role played by the Syrian Coalition in the political process and the future of Syria.

President Abdah presented the Revolution Shield to President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office / 05.12.2016)

Erdogan’s Syria policy hits dead end in Aleppo

A Russian soldier walks to a military vehicle in the government-controlled Hanono housing district in Aleppo, Syria, Dec. 4, 2016

Cengiz Candar writes, “The fate of Aleppo has the potential to seal the fate of [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s regime in Turkey. Too many of Erdogan’s eggs are placed in the basket of northern Syrian geopolitics, and most of them are likely to crack.”

In other words, Turkey’s Syria policy, which since 2011 has facilitated the rise of jihadi groups allied with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s largest affiliate ever, may be on the brink of collapse, along with those remaining Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in Aleppo who are holding the besieged citizens of the city hostage under brutal bombardment by the Syrian military and its allies.

On Dec. 1, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura again called for Jabhat al-Nusra fighters to leave the city, saying that their departure “will contribute to avoiding bloodshed and increase our leverage on insisting for an urgent pause.”

A series of quick victories by Syrian military and pro-government forces against Turkish-backed armed groups in Aleppo last week compelled Erdogan to declare on Nov. 29 that his country’s military had entered Syria to “put an end to state terror and to [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad’s rule,” upsetting, for the moment, fragile negotiations over Aleppo, according to the Financial Times.

Erdogan’s outburst, which appeared to be a mix of frustration and fantasy, necessitated a call the following day with Russian President Vladimir Putin, after which the Turkish president clarified his earlier remarks when he “publicly declared that the target of the Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria was ‘not a particular country or individual’ but ‘solely terrorist organizations,'” allowing the Aleppo talks to resume, as Amberin Zaman reports.

Fehim Tastekin explains that “what makes Erdogan’s anger understandable is the reality that armed groups losing ground in Aleppo will retreat to the Turkish border. What these tens of thousands of heavily armed, combat-trained militants will be doing at the Turkish border is the most vital question of the scary scenario. Looking at the Syrian regime’s game plan, this is what one sees: The Syrian army is facilitating the armed rebel groups to withdraw to the Turkish border by providing bus transport to carry the militants northward from areas they gave up.”

Erdogan, anticipating the Syrian government’s victory in Aleppo, had already backed off its support of armed groups there in return for acquiescence, especially by Russia, of Turkey’s objectives in Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched in August to defeat the Islamic State (IS), push the People’s Protection Units (YPG) east of the Euphrates River and establish a safe zone on its border.

Turkey nonetheless continues to lose in Syria. Semih Idiz writes, “Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) militias, Ankara’s main proxy in Syria, have been unable to muster a serious attack against al-Bab. The situation grew militarily complicated for Turkey after its jets began striking YPG targets in the area — resulting in the United States withdrawing air support for FSA and Turkish forces — and after Russia and Syrian regime forces made serious headway against the FSA in Aleppo, to which al-Bab provides access.”

Candar writes, “With the impending fall of Aleppo, taking al-Bab seems more difficult than ever. Moreover, the Turkish military around al-Bab suffered casualties from an air attack, for the first time ever, presumably by the Syrian air force. Some claim that it might have come from Iranian drones. But many observers noted the attack coincided with the first anniversary of Turkey’s downing a Russian jet, therefore giving way to speculation that the Russians are behind the Turkish casualties around al-Bab. Whatever the truth, Turkish military activity seems to be restricted in the area stretching from the eastern approaches of Aleppo to al-Bab, and from there farther east to Manbij and Raqqa.”

Metin Gurcan adds that Erdogan’s plans may be further complicated by the abduction of two Turkish soldiers by IS fighters on Nov. 29.

Idlib is the likely next target of the Syrian offensive, which will deepen Turkey’s Syrian quagmire. Tastekin adds, “Local sources think it is very likely that Hezbollah and [Hezbollah al-] Nujaba will launch an offensive from the south while the Syrian army and its allied militias simultaneously mount a major operation from the north. That will be the onset of Turkey’s nightmare scenario. Ankara will either hold on firmly to the de facto buffer zone it created from the Kilis border to north of al-Bab and turn the rural terrain around Idlib into a safe zone for its allied groups, or they will allow the Syrian army to reach the Turkish border. In both cases, the Turkish border will heat up and Turkey will also have to deal with the jihadi heritage that could spill over the border.”

Idiz observes that Turkey’s flailing Syria policy has put it at odds with both the United States and Russia. “The bottom line,” Idiz writes, “is that Turkey not only faces IS and the YPG in Syria, but Russia and the United States as well. Given this, many argue that Erdogan is unaware of what he is up against as he tries to please his supporters with promises he will most likely not be able to keep.”

Candar adds, “When it comes to Syria, Erdogan might be more at the mercy of Russia than ever. Turkey’s ambitious objectives to deprive Syrian Kurds of autonomy could equally depend on how Putin recalibrates his new relations with Erdogan, and on the Americans.”

In a related development, the final version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, passed by Congress, will provide the Trump administration with the authority to provide man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) to Syrian armed groups, with restrictions, as Julian Pecquet reports. The weapons can only be provided if requested by the president, and even then they would only be provided subject to fairly restrictive technical and vetting conditions. The provision is a victory for US Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who had consistently argued for an increased militarization of the Syria war by backing armed groups opposed to Assad.

(Source / 05.12.2016)

Johnson: Assad Responsible for “Overwhelming Majority” of Deaths in Syria, Says Millions Won’t Accept Him

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the “overwhelming majority” of 400,000 deaths during the five-year “slaughter” in Syria.

“There are millions in that country, who in our view, will not accept rule by him again,” Johnson added.

During a speech delivered Friday at the Chatham House think tank in London, Johnson said a new way of moving away from Assad should be found. Underlining that the future of Syria should mean a united country, Johnson said he could not “see that happening under Assad.”

Johnson added that the UK must be “tough” with Russia and made a personal vow that he would not “shy away” from telling Putin’s ministers that they must end the bombing campaign in Syria.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch on Thursday said that the Assad regime and Russian forces committed war crimes during their month-long aerial bombing campaign of rebel-held areas in Aleppo between September and October.

HRW pointed out that the bombing campaign killed more than 440 civilians, including more than 90 children. It added that Russian and Assad regime airstrikes on rebel-held areas “often appeared to be recklessly indiscriminate…and included the use of indiscriminate weapons such as cluster munitions and incendiary weapons.”

The New York based rights group said it analyzed satellite imagery that showed more than 950 new distinct impact sites consistent with the detonation of large high explosive bombs across the area during the month.

“Those who ordered and carried out unlawful attacks should be tried for war crimes,” HRW stressed.

Nearly 20,000 children have fled their homes in the battered eastern Aleppo in recent days, the UN said on Friday, warning that time is running out to provide them with the help they desperately need.

The UN said over 31,500 people have fled their homes in opposition-held eastern Aleppo since November 24, when the Assad regime and Russian forces intensified their brutal offensive on the city.

The UN children’s agency Unicef estimated that around 60 percent of those displaced, around 19,000, are children.

The number of displaced children could be far higher with Syrian rights groups putting the overall number of people on the run from the regime’s onslaught in eastern Aleppo at more than 50,000 since Saturday.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies / 04.12.2016)

Assad regime has seized more than half of east Aleppo

Smoke billows from the southern suburbs of Aleppo during fighting between regime forces and rebel fighters on December 3, 2016. (AFP/George Ourfalian)

Smoke billows from the southern suburbs of Aleppo during fighting between regime forces and rebel fighters on December 3, 2016

More than 60 per cent of the rebel enclave of eastern Aleppo has now fallen to Syrian government forces, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

Government forces advanced further into the besieged enclave on Saturday, capturing the Jazmati district after taking the neighbouring Tariq al-Bab district the previous day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The two areas were in the central part of the city’s rebel-held eastern sector but became frontline zones after the northern part of the rebel enclave fell to government forces over the last week.

Rebels fighting to defend the last major urban centre in the hands of the Syrian opposition have, however, managed to fight off a government advance on another front in the south of the enclave.

Eastern Aleppo has been under siege for most of the last five months, with medical and food supplies almost exhausted.

It has been devastated by years of airstrikes by the government and, more recently, its Russian ally. The strikes have put almost all the area’s medical facilities out of action, adding to the desperation of its defenders and civilian population.

Over 30,000 civilians have fled as a result of the government advances since November 24, according to the United Nations, which warned that at least 400 critically wounded or sick people required immediate evacuation from the enclave.

The Britain-based Observatory has put the number fleeing higher, estimating that 50,000 people had left for government-controlled western Aleppo and a Kurdish-held area with 15,000 displaced inside the remaining areas of the enclave.

(Source / 04.12.2016)

EU Says Fall of Aleppo won’t End Syria War as Rebels Lose more Ground

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, pictured on January 16, 2016. (AFP Photo/Joe Klamar)

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, pictured on January 16, 2016

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is convinced the fall of rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Aleppo to the regime would not end the war in the country, she said on Saturday.

“I’m convinced the fall of Aleppo will not end the war,” Mogherini said during a panel discussion at a conference in Rome war with U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura.

As for de Mistura, he hoped “some type of formula” could be found to avoid a “terrible battle” in Aleppo.

Speaking at the conference, he indicated the battle for Aleppo would not last that much longer, saying “the fact is that Aleppo is not going to stay that long”.

“I was feeling it would be a terrible battle ending up by Christmas-New Year. I hope the battle will not take place, that there will be some type of formula,” he said.

Her statement came as Syrian regime and allied forces advanced overnight seizing Aleppo’s Tariq al-Bab neighborhood from rebels as they press an offensive to recapture the entire city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

The capture of the neighborhood means the regime has now retaken around 60 percent of the east of the city, which the rebels overran in mid-2012.

However, a Turkey-based official with one of the rebel groups in Aleppo said regime forces had advanced in the area but rebels were repelling them.

The regime’s attack on Tariq al-Bab came after ferocious clashes that sent civilians flooding out of the adjacent neighborhood of Al-Shaer.

The Observatory said at least three people were killed in an air strike on the al-Shaer. The civil defense rescue service in eastern Aleppo said a gathering of displaced people had been struck and put the death toll at more than six

More than 300 civilians have been killed in east Aleppo since the regime resumed its offensive to oust the rebels on November 15.

The United Nations has warned that the sector risks becoming a “giant graveyard” for the 250,000-plus civilians who were trapped there just last week. Tens of thousands have since fled.

The latest developments on the battlefield were accompanied by a stern stance from rebels.

A rebel official said that rebel commanders will not surrender eastern Aleppo to regime forces after Russia claimed it was ready for talks with the United States on the withdrawal of all rebels from the area.

“I asked the factions, they said ‘we will not surrender’,” said Zakaria Malahifji, the head of the political office of the Aleppo-based Fastaqim faction, speaking from Turkey.

“The military commanders in Aleppo said ‘we will not leave the city. There is no problem with corridors for civilians to leave, but we will not leave the city’,” he said.

(Source / 03.12.2016)

Steifo: Regime & Allies Onslaught on Aleppo Failed to Achieve Its Objectives

Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Ahad Steifo said that the ongoing brutal assault on Aleppo by the Assad regime, Russia and the Iranian militias has so far failed to achieve its objectives to retake the entire city in spite of the genocidal crimes being committed against civilians.

Aleppo has seen the gravest war crimes since World War II, Steifo said, adding that “the regime, Russia and Iran have not achieved their objectives in Aleppo. Russia is now seeking to get of the trouble it brought upon itself in Syria.”

Aleppo and its countryside have been subjected to ferocious onslaught by the Assad regime and Russian forces since November 15. Over 750 people, mostly women and children, have so far been killed and thousands more injured in the ongoing bombing campaign on the city and its countryside.

Steifo stressed the urgent need for the resumption of the political process through negotiations in Geneva and the enforcement of UN resolutions, especially the humanitarian provisions that call for an end to the bombing, lifting the sieges, the delivery of aid to civilians in need, and the release of detainees.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office / 03.12.2016)

US, UK, France not eager to provide aid for liberated parts of eastern Aleppo – Russia’s MOD

Syrians that evacuated the eastern districts of Aleppo gather to board buses, in a government held area in Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on November 29, 2016. © SANA

Not a single offer to deliver humanitarian aid to the 90,000 residents living in the neighborhoods of East Aleppo that have been freed from terrorists by the Syrian army has been made by the US, UK, France, or the UN, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“While Western countries and representatives of various international organizations were vocal about the need to make humanitarian deliveries to eastern Aleppo possible when it was fully under rebel control, they seem to have lost interest in helping the stricken residents now that they’ve been liberated by government forces,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Obama administration never aimed to fight terrorism in Syria – Russia

“In the last few weeks, they [Western countries] were insistently demanding that humanitarian convoys be ensured access to the rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo. However, now, two days since over 90,000 Aleppo residents were liberated from the terrorists, it turns out that not a single offer to provide humanitarian help to them has been submitted either by the office of UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, or the UK, the French foreign ministries, or the US State Department,” Konashenkov elaborated, adding that nothing is preventing aid deliveries at the moment.

Konashenkov says the apparent reluctance of Western governments to provide aid to East Aleppo’s recently liberated residents now that it’s actually possible to deliver it suggests that those powers weren’t really concerned about those supplies reaching the civilian population in the first place.

“Apparently, this aid was intended for some other people living in the eastern Aleppo neighborhoods,” he said, implying that it had really been meant for the militants fighting the Syrian government there.

In the meantime, Syria’s Russian-backed military operation in eastern Aleppo is in full swing, with scores of civilians flooding into government-controlled parts of the city from rebel-held areas.

On Wednesday, 5,629 civilians, including 2,855 children, fled rebel-controlled neighborhoods for parts of the city that have been freed by Syrian forces, Konashenkov said.

All received shelter in humanitarian centers specially set up by the authorities to accommodate them. Some 150 field kitchens have been dishing out much-needed hot meals.

On Tuesday, Konashenkov called the advances made by the Syrian army this week “a radical breakthrough,” adding that half of the territory previously controlled by the militants in eastern Aleppo has now been freed, paving the way for the liberation of over 80,000 Syrians, who have been suffering from food shortages and a lack of adequate medical care.

Due to the tremendous success of the large-scale operation, the militants have been losing control of the situation and been unable to use civilians as living shields to hinder airstrikes as in the past. Terrorists groups such as Al-Nusra Front went to great lengths to prevent civilians from leaving via humanitarian corridors, shooting at them if they attempted to flee and threatening those remaining with execution if they should try.

(Source / 03.12.2016)

Airstrikes Force Closure of Aleppo Bakeries as 50,000 Flee Their Homes

Civilians in regime-besieged neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo have faced severe bread shortages since Saturday after airstrikes forced all bakeries to close down. Local activists said that tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced as a result of the ongoing onslaught by the Assad regime and Russian forces as well as the Iranian-backed foreign militias.

The Syrian civil defense corps said that over 750 civilians have been killed in Aleppo in over 2,000 airstrikes and 7,000 artillery shells on the city and its countryside since November 15. The victims included at least 70 civilians who were killed in airstrikes while trying to flee the eastern neighborhoods. Regime forces have detained at least 200 civilians who fled to the regime-held parts of the city, the civil defense added.

“Only three bakeries are still functioning to meet the needs of thousands of city residents,” said Najib Ansari, a civil defense official based in Aleppo. “The bakeries don’t have the capacity to meet the needs of civilians in eastern Aleppo,” he added. “Few local residents are able to benefit from their services.”

“Most other bakeries have been bombed or have had to shut down due to an acute lack of baking flour,” Ansari added. “The only three bakeries remaining were supposed to have distributed bread on Saturday, but failed to do so due to intense airstrikes.”

“Not a single loaf of bread has been baked in the last five days,” he added.

Civil defense official Baybars Meshaal said that nearly 50,000 people have been displaced inside Aleppo over the past three days, adding that the residents of eastern Aleppo live in constant panic due to the relentless bombardment on the rebel-held areas.

President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Abdah on Wednesday sent a letter to the 15-member group of friends of the Syrian people as well as to international and regional organizations to press for stopping the brutal bombing campaign by the Assad regime and Russian air forces.

Abdah called for urgent action to save the people of Aleppo from the ongoing genocide. He warned of an unprecedented humanitarian disaster having serious political, humanitarian consequences for the Syrian people and the peoples of the region.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Anadolu Agency / 02.12.2016)