US Wants Observers To Oversee Aleppo Evacuation

US wants observers to oversee Aleppo evacuation

UNITED NATIONS, United States, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 14th Dec, 2016 ) : The United States on Tuesday called for international observers to be allowed in Aleppo to oversee the evacuation of civilians following reports that Syrian forces had executed people during house-to-house searches.

US Ambassador Samantha Power told an emergency Security Council meeting that the observers would "oversee the safe evacuation of the people who wish to leave but who, justifiably fear that if they try, they will be shot in the street or carted off to one of (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad's gulags." The United Nations has raised alarm over reports that at least 82 people, including 11 women and 13 children, were killed in four neighborhoods of Aleppo as the battle for the city neared its end.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Syria and its allies Russia and Iran to "urgently allow the remaining civilians to escape the area" and provide aid to civilians in the city. Syria has refused to allow UN officials in Aleppo to verify the situation but Ban said thousands of civilians were at risk.

In the last 48 hours, there had been "an almost complete collapse of armed opposition front lines, leaving them with only 5 percent of their original territory in the city," said Ban.

The council met at the request of France and Britain as the Syrian government reached a deal, backed by Turkey and Russia, to allow fighters to leave the city.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin accused Western powers of resorting to "propaganda" and "fake news" on the crisis in Aleppo, singling out Power for acting like "Mother Teresa" by speaking with "moral supremacy." "The counter-terrorism operation in Aleppo will conclude in the next few hours," said Churkin.

He said opposition fighters along with their family members and the injured "are currently going through agreed corridors, going in directions they have chosen themselves voluntarily including towards Idlib," the rebel-controlled province.

Churkin rejected reports of atrocities, saying Russian officers had investigated the allegations on the ground. "Not a single fact of ill-treatment, of violations of international humanitarian law against civilians of east Aleppo was discovered," he said.

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