France pressing for war crimes investigation in Aleppo
In its efforts to come to help to the people of Aleppo who have been at the receiving end of a deadly Syrian offensive backed by Russia, France has announced to take the matter to International Criminal Court for the investigation of war crimes. The city is reeling under an intense aerial bombing by both the Syrian and Russian forces. The rebels are also moving swiftly towards West of Aleppo to leave the siege and instead go to other nearby areas held by rebels. France is standing firmly against the Russian advance on the city. French President Hollande will take into account the situation in Syria before deciding to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his Paris visit in October.
The Russian-backed Syrian forces have made prominent advances in Aleppo and have been successful in seizing the northern part of the city and also have successfully pushed back the frontttline in the centre of the city. The rebels too made advances in the southern district of Said as they were able to overpower the pro-government armed groups. Casualties have been reported on both sides.
Ever since September 22, after the joint offensive was launched by Russia and Syria more than 290 people have lost their lives out of which 57 were children. Also, the shelling caused by rebels have claimed lives of 50 civilians of which 9 were children. Russia has recently vetoed a resolution drafted by France at UN which demanded an immediate end to the air-strikes at Aleppo. The resolution also stood for truce and humanitarian aid to the affected areas. This is the fifth time Russia has vetoed a resolution on Syria. In the last 4 times, Russia was backed by China while this time China had abstained from voting. Eleven of the 15 members had favoured the resolution. Even a Russian-backed resolution failed. However, in a bilateral meeting with President Putin, Turkish President Erdogan announced that the two sides have agreed to increased military contacts and will also cooperate in giving aid to Aleppo. However, contrary to the above Russia has announced its plans of setting up a permanent military base in Syria and thus building up its capabilities in Syria. This will increase the military potential of Russia in the entire middle-east.
The strikes have led to a worldwide outcry and an immediate end to the air-offensive.