Merkel acusses Asad of ‘crimes against humanity’ ; rebels snub Moscow on Aleppo
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 03 November 2016| 02 Safar 1438
Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday accused Syrian government led by President Bashar Assad of committing “crimes against humanity” that could not be overlooked.
Human rights groups and Western countries have previously accused Syria’s Army, backed by Russia’s air force, of targeting hospitals, bakeries and other civilian areas when bombarding rebel areas, including eastern Aleppo.
“The use of barrel bombs and incendiary bombs, and even chemical weapons, is not being shied away from,” Merkel said as she received the Seoul Peace Prize in Berlin.
“The civilian population is being starved, medical institutes are being attacked, doctors are dying and hospitals are being destroyed,” she said, adding that not even United Nations aid convoys were safe from bombardment.
“These are serious crimes against humanity. We mustn’t overlook that,” Merkel said.
On Tuesday, a UN human rights spokeswoman said all sides fighting over the Syrian city of Aleppo may be committing war crimes through indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas.
The UN Human Rights Council said late last month it would identify the perpetrators of war crimes in Aleppo, and it launched a special inquiry into the use of starvation and airstrikes there.
Meanwhile, rebels on Wednesday rejected Russian demands that they withdraw from Aleppo by Friday evening, an official in one insurgent faction said.
“This is completely out of the question. We will not give up the city of Aleppo to the Russians and we won’t surrender,” Zakaria Malahifji of the Fastaqim rebel group told Reuters.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said rebels and civilians would be allowed to leave the eastern opposition-held part of Aleppo and signaled it would extend a moratorium on air strikes inside the city.
However, Malahifji said there were no safe exit corridors, as Russia had stated. “It’s not true. Civilians and fighters are not leaving. Civilians are afraid of the regime, they don’t trust it. And the fighters are not surrendering.”
Source – Arab news