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Battle for Aleppo: did US election distract attention?


brussels bureau

Battle for Aleppo: did US election distract attention?

As the Syrian government and its allies advance in eastern Aleppo, rescuers are warning of an “imminent humanitarian disaster.”

This, amid a feeling that the US presidential election distracted attention from the suffering in the city.

“There is no question that both before and after the elections to which you refer, in the United States, have taken place, there has been this very severe pressure upon the people of eastern Aleppo but also the fears and concerns that are taking place in western Aleppo because of the counter-attacks,” Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told Euronews following a meeting with EU officials.

The German foreign ministry called on Monday for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Aleppo.

And O’Brien says the targeting of health facilities amounts to a crime.

“We are now reaching the point where medical facilities and medical personnel have been so severely targeted in eastern Aleppo. We’re down to no functioning hospitals and barely any medical care is able to take place in eastern Aleppo,” he told Euronews.

“That in itself is not only breach of Security Council resolutions but also it is a breach of international humanitarian law.”

The advance in recent days, after weeks of Russian and Syrian air strikes, has led several thousand residents of eastern Aleppo to flee shifting front lines.

The Aleppo Civil Defence rescue group released a statement on Monday warning of an “imminent humanitarian disaster.”

The group said bombardment by the Syrian government had destroyed two of its four centres in Aleppo and that if there was no response from the international community, then “things will become very, very miserable.”

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