Aleppo city leader urges 'safe corridor' for civilians

"Let the civilians leave, protect the civilians, put in place a safe corridor so they can leave," Brita Hagi Hassan said after meeting French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in Paris.

Aleppo city leader urges 'safe corridor' for civilians

World Bulletin / News Desk

The local council leader from war-torn eastern Aleppo called Wednesday for safe passage for desperate civilians, warning the UN would be "signing the death warrant of 250,000 people" if it failed to act.

"In the name of humanity, in the name of international law, we demand that civilians be allowed to leave Aleppo and go where they want," he told reporters.

More than 50,000 terrified civilians have already left the city's east, the exodus growing as government forces press an assault on rebel-held areas, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday.

Hassan said President Bashar al-Assad's forces were carrying out a "scorched earth policy to devastate Aleppo and then occupy it".

The UN Security Council was on Wednesday holding an emergency meeting on the situation, with its aid chief Stephen O'Brien warning that the city's besieged east was at risk of turning into "one giant graveyard".

The council was also expected to hear from peace envoy Staffan de Mistura.

Syria's opposition National Coalition said it was working with France on a draft UN resolution seeking an immediate ceasefire in Aleppo, although Russia -- a staunch ally of Damascus -- was likely to veto such a proposal.

Hassan said that if the Security Council failed to demand a ceasefire, "it will have signed the death warrant for 250,000 people in Aleppo".

He said that in areas recaptured by regime forces and Iranian militias, all men under 40 were being arrested as scores are settled.

Ayrault on Wednesday said that Western and Arab countries that back the moderate Syrian opposition would hold talks in Paris on December 10.

Government forces now control at least a third of eastern Aleppo and are pressing ahead with an assault that could deal rebels their worst blow since the war began.

More than 300,000 people have been killed and millions forced to flee their homes since Syria's conflict began in March 2011 with protests calling for Assad's ouster.



Last Mod: 30 Kasım 2016, 23:13
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