The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold a meeting today to discuss the crisis in the Syrian city of Aleppo in response to an urgent request from Britain and France.
“Aleppo is burning and it is crucial that we focus on this top priority issue,” British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said.
A surge of violence that erupted on 22 April has left more than 270 people dead in the divided northern city. People from all over the world took to the streets this week in solidarity with the people of Aleppo, as Syrian and Russian warplanes continue to bombard the city.
The MSF-backed Al-Quds Hospital was hit during the airstrikes, killing at least 27 patients and doctors, including one of the last remaining paediatricians in the opposition-held part of the city. At least three other medical clinics were also hit by government airstrikes. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said deliberate attacks on hospitals amount to “war crimes”.
A partial truce is still in effect in Syria, but it does not cover Aleppo. Holding talks with the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said efforts were underway to agree to a ceasefire covering Aleppo, adding that he hopes it would be announced “in the very near future – maybe in the next few hours.”