'Stop draining the blood of Syrians,' UN official pleads
In a UN briefing on Wednesday, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien urged the 15-member body to uphold international peace and security and "do the right thing to stop the draining of the blood of Syrians."
O'Brien told members of the primary UN body that since the last briefing the UN body nearly one month ago, at least 400 Syrians were killed and around 2,000 were injured in eastern Aleppo.
"These are people just like you and me – not sitting around a table in New York but forced into desperate, pitiless suffering, their future wiped out [...] people's lives destroyed and Syria itself destroyed."
|These are people just like you and me – not sitting around a table in New York but forced into desperate, pitiless suffering, their future wiped out, people's lives destroyed and Syria itself destroyed|
Reiterating the humanitarian catastrophe in the besieged rebel-held part of Aleppo, where aid has not reached in almost four months, O'Brien said tactics employed there "make life intolerable; make death likely. Push people from starvation to despair to surrender. Push people to leave on green buses."
Syrian regime and Russian warplanes, which are bombarding the city, have dropped leaflets that read: "This is your last hope [...] Save yourselves. If you do not leave these areas urgently, you will be annihilated."
"It is clear that the aircraft which drop the bombs, the generals who give the orders and the politicians who have designed the strategy intend to make good on that horrific promise," O'Brien said.
The UN emergency relief coordinator said children in Syria –nearly eight million of which have lost their parents, homes and schools – have suffered emotional and physical traumas.
|Children in Syria –nearly eight million of which have lost their parents, homes and schools – have suffered emotional and physical traumas|
On Wednesday, airstrikes hit a school in norther Idlib killing at least 35 people, mostly children, in what UNICEF called the "deadliest attack" on a school since the war began nearly six years ago.
Last week, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution calling for an investigation into the violence in the Aleppo, which the council said has been turned into a "slaughter house".
O'Brian urged the Security Council to put an end to the violence, adding: "It is within your power to do it. If you don’t take action, there will be no Syrian peoples or Syria to save – that will be this Council's legacy, our generation's shame."
"It is in your hands today to take the right path, and avert this looming irreversible tragedy of our time."