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Syrian opposition lashes out at 'silence of international community'

A Syrian man walks past a heavily damaged building following air strikes on rebel-held eastern areas of Aleppo on September 24. Photograph: (AFP)

AFP Istanbul, Turkey Sep 24, 2016, 04.24 PM (IST)

Syria's main opposition coalition has criticised the international community for its apathy to the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime and their Russian allies in the rebel-held city of Aleppo.

Muwaffaq Nirabiya, vice president of the Syrian National Coalition, said what was happening in Syria was "a crime" and blamed Russia for turning its back on a political solution. "The Syrian regime and its Russian allies commit atrocities in Syria preferring to opt for a military strategy until the very end," AFP quoted him as saying in Istanbul.

He also said the ceasefire between US and Russia, which came into effect on September 12 but broke down six days later, was not followed even once and "not a single day has been without bombing and air strikes on our people".

Jawad Abu Hatab, leader of the opposition-in-exile, criticised the silence of the international community, AFP reported.

"We cannot stand the silence of the international community," he said, adding that Damascus and its Russian allies "targeted humanitarian convoys, killed civilians, used chemical weapons -- weapons that are banned by international conventions, dropped barrel bombs against the population, razed entire buildings and committed massacres".

He was referring to the attack on an aid convoy in Aleppo on Monday which killed 20 people and destroyed 18 trucks. The United States has held Russia responsible for the incident.

Intense raids continued for a second night on Friday after the Syrian regime announced an operation to retake Aleppo on Thursday, following the collapse of the ceasefire.

Aleppo and its neighbouring regions have come under heavy bombardment during the more than five-year conflict between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups fighting to depose him. The civil war has claimed 300,000 lives and forced millions to flee their homes.

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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