UN Syrian envoy calls for attention to people in northern Syria's Aleppo

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, on Monday insisted on taking care of the needs of the people in the north Syrian city of Aleppo, saying that "if the world is watching Mosul (in Iraq), Aleppo should not be forgotten."

De Mistura, speaking to reporters after meeting with European Unionforeign ministers in Luxembourg, said that "he had insisted that the issue of Aleppo is vital and crucial," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here. "He said that history will judge us for any kind of discussion that ignores the needs of the people in Aleppo."

"He said that if the world is watching Mosul, Aleppo should not be forgotten," the spokesman said, referring to the worsening humanitarian situation in the second largest city in Iraq, which was seized by the Islamic State in June 2014.

De Mistura added that over the weekend, in Lausanne, Switzerland, "there was some progress on which we need to build," Dujarric said.

De Mistura is briefing the UN Security Council via video-television conference system about Syria later Monday, he added.

Between now and December, "if we cannot find a solution, Aleppo will not be there anymore," the special envoy warned.

He emphasized a need to build on that progress in order to avoid war-ravaged Aleppo becoming like Darayya or Moadamiyah, two of the Middle East country's besieged cities.

"Aleppo has a special symbol," de Mistura said, voicing his hope that in addition to the discussions in London, the Monday meeting in Luxembourg would be a show of unity.

Some 275,000 people are in eastern Aleppo, and the western part of the city has also suffered great losses.

At least 31 people were reportedly killed on Sunday by airstrikes on rebel-held districts in Syria's northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday, adding that warplanes carried out four airstrikes on the rebel-held neighborhoods of Qaterji, Sukkari and Bab al-Naser as well as other areas in eastern Aleppo.

The latest airstrikes came amid heightened tension between Washington and Moscow over Aleppo, particularly after the Syrian government forces have tightened the siege on eastern Aleppo with the help of Russia, and urged the rebels there to surrender.

The U.S. and its allies want Russia and the Syrian army to halt their attacks on eastern Aleppo, while the Syrian government and Moscow want to dislodge the rebels out of that area.

Aleppo, located near the borders with Turkey, is Syria's largest city and once an economic hub. It has been a focal point of clashes between the Syrian army and the rebels.

[ Editor: meng ]


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