13 December 2016 - Aleppo is experiencing its darkest days
Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 13 December 2016
As you know, Aleppo is experiencing its darkest days. We have credible reports of brutal murders of families, summary executions, including women and children, houses put on fire with people trapped inside, continuing targeting of hospital and medical staff. And the list goes on and on. Quite frankly, the situation in Aleppo is beyond words, it is beyond shame and it is beyond everything we have said before.
War crimes and potentially crimes against humanity are committed on a daily basis in Aleppo. So accountability needless to say is more than ever a weapon that we have and we are determined to use.
Number two, against this tragic backdrop, France has asked an immediate meeting of the Security Council to try to do whatever we can to stop the bloodshed, to evacuate populations safely, to assist those in need. In other words, in these darkest hours for Aleppo, it is never too late to do anything we can to save lives.
Number three, keep in mind what I told you when I said Aleppo is to Syria what Guernica was to the Spanish war. Here we are. Three ways:
1/ this is the worst humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century unfolding before our eyes;
2/ Aleppo is a black hole destroying all the values that are at the heart of the UN, and I believe it is a big question mark for the credibility of the UN;
3/ And Aleppo is the harbinger of more disasters to come. And the worst may be ahead of us. And when I say the worst I mean other humanitarian tragedies, other cold blooded massacres and also the fact that Aleppo is an incubator for terrorism. It is a gift to all the terrorists in this country. So it is a somber day, a dark day.
Q: What would you like to come out of the emergency meeting, you mentioned accountability?
Let’s face it, we all know that we have one country at the Security Council who has more or less the keys to a way out. Quite frankly the supporters of the Syrian regime, starting with Russia, cannot let this happen. They cannot be the accomplices of the cold vengeance and systematic terror on civilians. So to answer your question honestly, what we can do depends on the response from Russia. So what we do is a call on Russia to act decisively to stop the disaster in Aleppo and to pressure the Syrian regime, which they have the means to do, to stop this bloodshed.