UN: US, others wringing their hands while ‘hellish suffering’ plays out in Aleppo

A member of the Civil Defence, also known as the “White Helmets,” who have been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, reacts after the announcement of the winner, in a rebel held area of Aleppo, Syria, October 7, 2016.
REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

A statement from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, seemed to lay some blame on the international community’s inaction for the “hellish suffering” now taking place in Syria’s Aleppo.

“The crushing of Aleppo, the immeasurably terrifying toll on its people, the bloodshed, the wanton slaughter of men, women and children, the destruction – and we are nowhere near the end of this cruel conflict,” said Zeid in the UN statement.

“What can happen next, if the international community continues to collectively wring its hands, can be much more dangerous,” he added.

Zeid said that the dismal situation in Aleppo, where buildings full of children have reportedly been set on fire, where women are reportedly making the unfathomably grim decision to commit suicide rather than be raped by Syrian President Assad’s incoming forces, could “repeat itself in Douma, in Raqqa, in Idleb, (other rebel strongholds)” should the international community fail to hold the forces on the ground accountable.

Zeid pleaded that the international community must insist on establishing a presence in Aleppo, where Russia, Assad’s ally, has unilaterally controlled access to the city via a brutal air campaign.

Students’ bags are seen amid the debris of a damaged classroom after shelling by Syrian rebels on government-held western Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on November 20, 2016.
Thomson Reuters

“The world is watching Aleppo – and we are documenting the violations being committed against its people, with the firm conviction that one day those who are responsible will be held to account. We must ensure that this happens. The hellish suffering to which the people of Syria are being subjected must stop,” said Zeid.