Tuesday 12 December 2017

Watch: 'Have you no shame?' Irish American ambassador delivers powerful speech on Aleppo

Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin?

US Ambassador Samantha Power addressed the UN security council
US Ambassador Samantha Power addressed the UN security council
US Ambassador to the UN
U Ambassador Samantha Power delivered a powerful speech at the UN (Photo: REUTERS)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has delivered a powerful speech about the shameful atrocities being carried out in Syria.

Ms Power, an Irish American, spoke as the events in the past 72 hours in Aleppo have been described as a “meltdown of humanity”.

Addressing the UN Security Council, Ms power who was born in London and lived in Dublin until she was nine, she said:

“Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there nothing that can shame you? Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin? That creeps you out just a little bit?

“Is there nothing you will not lie about of justify?”

Ms Power, who has received praise worldwide for her words, recounted some of the horrific incidents of this week and appeals made by desperate Syrians on social media.

"A doctor named Mohammad Abu Rajab left a voice message: 'This is a final distress call to the world. Save the lives of these children and women and old men. Save them. Nobody is left. You might not hear our voice after this.'

"A photographer named Ameen Al-Halabi wrote on Facebook: 'I am waiting to die or be captured by the Assad regime. Pray for me and always remember us.'

"A teacher named Abdulkafi Al-Hamdo said: 'I can tweet now but I might not do it forever. Please save my daughter’s life and others. This is a call from a father'," she said.

Read More:

Children walk together as they flee deeper into the remaining rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Children walk together as they flee deeper into the remaining rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Syrian army soldier places a Syrian national flag during a battle with rebel fighters at the Ramouseh front line, east of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)
A Syrian man carries his sister who was wounded after a government airstrike hit the neighborhood of Ansari, in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Abdullah al-Yassin, File)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)
Smoke rises following a Syrian government air strike on rebel positions, in eastern Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
In this image from video, people march toward the Russian consulate in Istanbul Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 to protest against Russia's involvement in the Syrian government's push to retake rebel-held areas of the city of Aleppo. (DHA via AP)
A general view shows the damage inside the Umayyad mosque, in the government-controlled area of Aleppo, during a media tour, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
Boys stand amid the damage in the government-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, during a media tour, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk inside Aleppo's historic citadel, during a media tour, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)
Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad stand inside the Umayyad mosque, in the government-controlled area of Aleppo, during a media tour, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (SANA via AP)

"Another doctor told a journalist: 'Remember that there was a city called Aleppo that the world erased from the map and history'."

She warned those behind the atrocities, and other Governments, would not be able to pretend they did not know what is going on or for the events to be concealed.

"It would be easy for independent investigators to get in along with food, health workers, and others; but instead, the perpetrators are hiding their brutal assault from the world willfully.

"But consider the accounts that have made it out – so many of them – first responders describing children’s voices from beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings.

"There are no first responders or equipment left to dig them out, and no doctors left to treat them. Bodies lying in the streets of eastern Aleppo, but no one dares collect them, for fear of getting bombed or shot to death in the process," she said.

"Up to a hundred children are reportedly trapped right now, in a building under heavy fire.

"Terrorists. Clearly – young children – they must be terrorists because everybody being executed, everybody being barrel bombed, everybody who’s been chlorine attacked, you’re going to be told they are all terrorists – every last one of them, even the infants."

The devastation wreaked on civilians will become a defining moment she told the council.

"Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later. Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica, and, now, Aleppo,” she said.

Read More: Aleppo ceasefire: Russia says it has reached 'understanding' with Turkey on evacuation plan

"To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, your forces and proxies are carrying out these crimes. Your barrel bombs and mortars and airstrikes have allowed the militia in Aleppo to encircle tens of thousands of civilians in your ever-tightening noose. It is your noose.

"Three Member States of the UN contributing to a noose around civilians. It should shame you. Instead, by all appearances, it is emboldening you. You are plotting your next assault. Are you truly incapable of shame?”

Russia's ambassador, Vitaly Churkin responded angrily to the speech, saying she should remember her "own country's track record".

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