The Arab League said yesterday it will strive to ensure that all of those behind mounting violence in the war-ravaged Syrian city of Aleppo face “international justice”.
The pan-Arab organisation met in Cairo as fighting that raged in the divided city threatened a complete breakdown of a truce between President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and opposition groups.
More than 280 civilians have been killed in the fighting since April 22, with Assad’s regime launching air strikes on the rebel-held east Aleppo.
The Arab League said it had decided to “work on bringing all those who participated in and contributed to the brutal attacks against innocent civilians in Aleppo and other Syrian cities to international justice”.
The 22-member bloc denounced the “the Syrian regime’s brutal actions against unarmed civilian residents” in Aleppo, calling the attacks “a massacre”, in a resolution announced after the meeting.
It also denounced the Islamic State group and “all terrorist groups” which are committing crimes against civilians in Aleppo and other Syrian cities.
The meeting, which is attended by Arab League secretary-general Nabil Elaraby, was held upon a request by Qatar.
Addressing the opening session of the meeting, Qatar’s ambassador to Egypt and permanent representative to the Arab League, Saif bin Muqaddam al-Buainain, called for urgent measures to halt the killings and hold accountable those responsible for them and bring them to justice as war criminals.
He said shelling of residential neighbourhoods, hospitals and places of worship in Aleppo had triggered widespread condemnation and disdain globally because of the unprecedented barbaric behaviour of the regime.
He said the State of Qatar condemned the “disastrous and catastrophic situation in Aleppo due to the brutal raids waged by the Syrian regime”.
The regime’s continued aggression on civilians “stresses that the suffering of the Syrian people is tantamount to systematic aggression, contravening all international charters, laws and international humanitarian lawand the principles of human rights and requires the need for the international community to condemn these atrocities”.
Qatar called on the Security Council “to carry out its legal responsibilities in accordance with the United Nations Charter to stop the suffering of the Syrian people from massacres”.
He called for the provision of protection to the Syrian people and guarantee of the arrival of urgent humanitarian assistance to all parts of the Syrian territory to distribute them to the needy without delay and without hurdles.
More than 270,000 Syrians have been killed in the conflict which began March 2011, and millions have been displaced to other parts in Syria and abroad.
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