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UK summons Russia and Iran over Aleppo actions

The Foreign Secretary has summoned the ambassadors of Russia and Iran to condemn their actions in the besieged city of Aleppo.

Dec 15

00:00
2016

The Foreign Secretary has summoned the ambassadors of Russia and Iran to condemn their actions in the besieged city of Aleppo. Boris Johnson said both nations helped to inflict terrible suffering on those left trapped in the rebel enclave through their support for Syrian President Bashar Assad. They deserved "no credit" for the evacuation currently taking place, he said in a statement. Mr Johnson said he had also expressed "deep concern" at reports of civilians being executed, ambulances being shot at and "disappearances" carried out by pro-Assad forces. Both Russia and Iran have failed to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law. Having inflicted such suffering on the people of eastern Aleppo, Iran and Russia cannot expect praise for allowing some people to escape at the final hour.

He added: "Both Russia and Iran have failed to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law, specifically by failing to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians during the months when eastern Aleppo was besieged.

"They deserve no credit for the fact that an evacuation appears to be under way today. Having inflicted such suffering on the people of eastern Aleppo, Iran and Russia cannot expect praise for allowing some people to escape at the final hour. "Both countries need to ensure the UN now oversees the evacuation process and that all civilians and non-combatants are properly protected."

A statement from the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, part of Russia's ministry of defence, said the Syrian authorities had guaranteed the safety of all members of the armed groups who decided to leave Aleppo.

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