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UN warns of Syrian regime’s ‘surrender or starve’ policy to regain Aleppo

August 17, 2016 at 11:39 am

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria (COI) on Tuesday warned of the Syrian regime’s use of a “surrender or starve” policy in its efforts to retake the city of Aleppo.

The commission also expressed grave concerns over the escalation of violence and attacks in Aleppo, calling on influential countries to find a final solution to the Syrian crisis and the humanitarian situation there.

The Geneva-based commission described the situation of civilians in Aleppo as “critical”.

“Violence has reached new heights in recent weeks as asymmetric warfare intensifies over control of armed group-held neighbourhoods and their principal remaining supply lines, currently the Castello road and access through Ramouseh neighbourhood,” warned COI.

“These attacks appear to form the prelude to a siege, designed to force the capture of the city through an already-documented strategy of ‘surrender or starve,” it added.

The commission said the daily aerial bombardments by government and pro-government forces have resulted in numerous deaths and injuries, which have also affected members of the Syrian Civil Defence during attempts to rescue survivors.

“Additionally, the bombardments have also destroyed more than 25 hospitals and clinics since January, killing patients and medical staff,” it added.

The commission was established on 22 August 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council with a mandate to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the country.