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French minister calls for end to Syrian 'massacre'

October 24, 2016 at 3:47 am

French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (C) visits Syrian refugees on October 23, 2016 [Kerem Kocalar/Anadolu Agency]

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault used a visit to southeastern Turkey on Sunday to call for an end to the “massacre” of civilians in Syria.

Speaking ahead of a visit to a refugee camp in Nizip, province, Ayrault said it would not be possible to reach a political solution while Aleppo and other areas were being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes.

“If we want Syrian refugees to return their country one day, then we must do everything we can to stop this massacre,” he said.

He added that access for humanitarian aid was also being prevented by the airstrikes.

Syrian city runs out of space to bury the dead from airstrikes

Earlier, he issued a statement in which he called for the UN to impose sanctions on those who used chemical weapons in Syria, as experts have said the Syrian regime and Daesh have done.

Ayrault said he wanted a “clear condemnation of these crimes in a resolution from the UN Security Council… that places the perpetrators under sanctions.”

A Russian-led “humanitarian pause” in airstrikes on Aleppo expired Sunday. The UN said it was unable to use the break in fighting to help civilians trapped in the city because of a lack of guarantees for the safety of its staff.

Photos: ‘Teddy Bear’ protest in London against attacks in Aleppo