The United Nations held an emergency meeting Wednesday to address the ongoing crisis in Aleppo. The UN humanitarian aid chief warned civilians are facing a dire fate in the city's eastern districts.
The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Wednesday to examine the unfolding situation in eastern Aleppo.
The Syrian government has pounded rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo in recent days. At least 26 were killed Wednesday due to Syrian fire on the Jubb al-Qubbeh district, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and more than 300 have been killed in east Aleppo since the latest government assault started on November 15. Another 48 have been killed in west Aleppo.
The Observatory estimates that at least 50,000 people fled rebel-held districts in Aleppo, with 20,000 going to government-held territories and 30,000 moving to Kurdish-controlled districts.
UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien called for the fighting to stop. "For the sake of humanity we call on - we plead with - the parties and those with influence to do everything in their power to protect civilians and enable access to the besieged part of eastern Aleppo before it becomes one giant graveyard," O'Brien told the meeting via video-link from London.
O'Brien added that there was no longer a functioning hospital, and the rebel-held area has been under siege for nearly 150 days. He called upon the Syrian government to let the UN and its humanitarian partners deliver food and medical aid.
Syrian opposition group National Coalition head Anas al-Abdeh demanded the UN "take immediate, definitive steps to protect civilians in Aleppo and stop the barbaric offensive taken against them" on Wednesday. The National Coalition said it was working with France to draft a UN resolution for an immediate ceasefire in Aleppo, though Syria government ally Russia is likely to veto such a proposal.
kbd/gsw (AFP, AP)