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PRESS RELEASE


UN’s Syria Envoy Charges Jihadists with War Crimes in Eastern Aleppo

Oct. 31, 2016 (EIRNS)—Jihadists’ indiscriminate shelling of eastern Aleppo with missiles and chemical weapons is tantamount to war crimes, said Steffan de Mistura, the United Nations’ Special Envoy on Syria, who declared himself "shocked and appalled" at the attacks launched by terrorists over the past three days on Aleppo’s civilian population. Even Amnesty International has called for an immediate halt to the shelling.

Over the past three days, a brutal offensive by Jabhat al-Nusra and its allies (including the so-called moderate opposition) to break the Syrian Army’s siege of eastern Aleppo has killed 84 people and wounded close to 300, Syria’s Sana news agency reported. In a statement issued today, the Syrian General Command charged that terrorists fired more than 100 mortar rounds, 50 Grad missiles, and 20 weaponized gas cylinders on residential areas of Aleppo, in addition to carrying out sniper attacks. Most of the casualties, it said, were women and children. On Sunday, rebels advanced into the frontline neighborhood of al-Hamadaniyeh, in tanks and other armored vehicles, but also used suicide car bombs to breach Army defense lines. Several citizens were treated for respiratory problems and asphyxiation, as a result of poison gas.

As of this writing, the counter-offensive by Syrian Army forces has slowed the terrorists’ offensive, leaving them only partially in control of the Dahiyet al-Assad neighborhood they entered last Friday.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned today that the two weeks during which Russian and Syria ceased airstrikes over Aleppo were more than enough time for the United States and its allies to force the "moderate" opposition to break with the terrorists. The failure to do this, he stated, now means that "our previous assessments need to be revised." Earlier, if Russia said that it seemed that the United States and its allies were unable, or didn’t want, to separate the moderates from Jabhat al-Nusra,

"then now we should say already that they do not really want to do this.... We hope that the self-preservation instinct will prevail, as cozying up to terrorists and trying to use them for one’s own goals has never led to anything good."

Any militants still remaining in eastern Aleppo, Lavrov warned, will be considered accomplices of al-Nusra.

In one of the periodic mental lapses he suffers when repeating Obama’s lies, Secretary of State John Kerry told an audience at London’s Chatham House today, that the Russians wanted to

"bomb Aleppo to smithereens, claiming they are hitting terrorists, rather than accept the reality that there is an opposition there prepared to live by the ceasefire."

Isn’t this the oppostion that de Mistura charges with war crimes?