NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Wednesday accused Russia of aggravating the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, calling on Moscow to put an end to hostilities and allow aid into the northern Syrian city.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels at the start of the meetings of NATO Defense Ministers, Stoltenberg described Russia’s continued support for the Assad regime in Syria as “deeply troubling.”
“Russia has resumed the bombing of Aleppo which is exacerbating a humanitarian catastrophe.
“Men, women and children are dying every day. Killed by disgraceful attacks on their homes and even their hospitals. And I call on Russia to show real efforts to restore a cessation of hostilities and allow humanitarian access to Aleppo,” he said.
Hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed or injured in Russian and Syrian airstrikes since Sept. 19, when the Bashar al-Assad regime announced the end of a week-long truce.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests – which erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings – with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-torn country, according to UN figures.