In the wake of reports that the Syrian government may have committed war crimes while recapturing the city of Aleppo, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power fiercely condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies during a U.N. Security Council meeting held on Tuesday. Dozens of civilians have reportedly been executed by pro-government forces as they swept through the city. Amidst other alleged crimes committed during the fighting, pro-government forces were said to have set fire to a building with more than 100 children trapped inside. Twenty women have also reportedly committed suicide in order to avoid rape at the hands of Assad’s soldiers.
“To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, your forces and proxies are carrying out these crimes. Your barrel bombs and mortars and airstrikes have allowed the militia in Aleppo to encircle tens of thousands of civilians in your ever tightening noose,” said Power. “Is there literally nothing that can shame you? Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child, that gets under your skin? That just creeps you out a little bit? Is there nothing you will not lie about or justify?”
On Tuesday, Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov dismissed reports that hundreds of thousands of civilians remain trapped in Aleppo as “russophobic chatter.” Konashenkov said that that more than 100,000 civilians had been used as human shields during the fighting in Eastern Aleppo, and that all remaining civilians had already left the city.
Watch the video of Power’s speech below.
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