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Syria Violence Escalates As UN Security Council Meets

By RFE/RL September 25, 2016

The United Nations Security Council has met in New York to discuss the spiraling violence in Syria, where a recent cease-fire has collapsed.

At the start of UN Security Council meeting on September 25, the UN's top envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, accused the government of unleashing "unprecedented military violence" against civilians in Aleppo.

His remarks came as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group, said at least 23 people were killed in government air strikes on September 25 in eastern Aleppo, which is controlled by rebel forces.

Over 100 people have been killed since a September 9 truce brokered by the United States and Russia fell apart last week.

The United States, Britain, and France blamed Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for the recent escalation in fighting.

"Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and Assad make war," said Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the UN, during the emergency meeting.

"It is Russia's actions that have prolonged the conflict, prolonged the suffering," said Matthew Rycroft, British ambassador to the UN.

"Does Russia think it can install confidence and trust with its partners by negotiating a cessation of hostilities with one hand and supporting the regime, which is bombing Aleppo, with the other hand?" said Francois Delattre, France's ambassador to the UN.

Meanwhile, Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN, said that "bringing peace is almost an impossible task now," because he claimed the cease-fire was "sabotaged" by opposition groups supported by Washington.

"The Americans basically said that they were not able to influence their groups and thus fulfill the agreements that they wanted to see," he said.

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari said Damascus "will not give up a single inch of its territory."

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/syria- violence-escalates-un-security- council-meets/28011922.html

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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