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Aleppo: call for immediate halt to aerial bombardments by Syrian and Russian forces

The PACE Standing Committee, meeting today in Nicosia, voiced its deep concern over the situation in Aleppo and called for an “immediate end by Syrian and Russian forces to all aerial bombardments of the city” and the immediate implementation of the ceasefire agreement of September 2016.

The parliamentarians firmly condemned attacks on civilians, including on medical workers and facilities, blocked humanitarian convoys, enforced disappearances, summary executions and other crimes committed by all parties to the conflict, pointing out that these breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights, “some of which constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, must be brought to justice, including before the International Criminal Court”.

Adopting a resolution on the basis of the report prepared by Jean-Claude Mignon (France, EPP/CD), the Standing Committee called in particular on the Syrian authorities and their allies to “promptly allow unhindered humanitarian access”. The text adopted stresses that an inclusive Syrian-led political process leading to a genuine political transition must meet the aspirations of the Syrian people and enable them democratically to determine their own future, through free and fair elections, after stabilisation has been achieved in the country.

Fearing that the escalation of violence could lead to even deeper conflicts in Syria and in the whole region, in particular in Iraq, and represent a threat to worldwide security, PACE urged the Russian Federation, the United States and all parties to the conflict “to search for a common position and take joint international action”.