Monday 26 September 2016

Russian bombing of civilians in Aleppo in breach of UN resolution, warns Merkel

Noah Barkin in Ankara

Published 09/02/2016 | 02:30

Russian President Vladimir Putin. AP Photo
Russian President Vladimir Putin. AP Photo
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speak to the media after talks with Angela Merkel in Ankara

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised Russia yesterday for bombings in Syria that have forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee, suggesting they were in violation of a UN Security Council resolution that Moscow signed in December.

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Speaking during a visit to Ankara, Ms Merkel said she was "appalled" and "shocked" by the suffering in the Syrian city of Aleppo, which she blamed on bomb attacks originating primarily from the Russian side in support of the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad.

"We must take another look at Resolution 2254 from December 18, the resolution of the UN Security Council that was supported by Russia," Ms Merkel said.

"In the resolution, the Security Council demands that all sides stop attacks on civilians and civilian targets without delay, and in particular the use of indiscriminate weapons, such as bomb attacks from the air.

"It is very specific in the resolution."

Immediate

At a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Ms Merkel also called for immediate steps from Ankara to improve the situation for refugees in Turkey, saying the €3bn pledged by the EU must be deployed without delay.

"We need a visible first project. It doesn't help a child from Syria that is a refugee here, or a Turkish class that has to share its room with Syrian refugees to say we have pledged €3bn. They want to see a school in the city and fast," Ms Merkel said.

"We need to work on this. We need to make sure there are not too many bureaucratic hurdles. Rather the refugees have to see the benefits quickly and without bureaucracy."

Irish Independent

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