Aleppo Under Siege: Syria’s Latest Tragedy Unfolds – Security Council Arria-Formula Open Meeting (8 August 2016)

00:00: Ambassador Samantha Power opens the Session and helps set the context of the siege of Aleppo that is happening now, where 300,000 people are .

11:45: Mr. Nalu (?) of the White Helmets (Syrian Civil Defense) explains what he is seeing and his profound disappointment that the UN has not responded

18:30: Dr. Saher Sahul (?) a critical care specialist of the Syrian American Medical Society (doctors from Chicago)

33:30: Raw video of White Helmets at work in Aleppo. Explosions. People being pulled from the rubble. Victims of the barrel bombs.

37:25: Dr. Sam Ratar, orthopedic surgeon. “Things can always get worse.”

44:00 : Ms. Clarissa Ward, CNN Senior Reporter weaves a clear picture of what it was like to be in Aleppo. The apocalyptic landscape had become more of a moonscape. Those who live there live traumatized. Explains how the Islamists are the only ones stepping in, in any way to fight for the Syrians. In her 10 years covering conflicts, she has “never seen anything of the scale of Aleppo.”

56:26: Ambassador Peter Wilson of the United Kingdom articulates the question to the Security Council: “Are we doing enough? No!” Noting the systematic attack on hospitals and humanitarian aid. First a stop to the bombing. Humanitarian access, complete and immediate. Reigim needs to honor its agreement. A political solution is needed.

1:00:00: Amb. Powers notes some specifics of efforts made, even as access for humanitarian aid has happened (nowhere near enough) any medical supplies, baby formula and the like are removed by the regime so none of these get through to Aleppo. A glaring demonstration of spite and the effort to completely starve and demoralize.

1:02:00: Acting Permanent Representative of France, Ambassador Alexis Lamek of France. Denouncing the regime and those supporting the regime, its targeting of civilians, hospitals, use of chemical weapons and barrel bombs. Noting the disregard for SC/RES/2244, disregard for humanitarian corridors. No credible talks currently envisioning. Those who have influence on the regime need to step up.

1:07:00: Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, Permanent Representative of New Zealand. Must lend their voice to action on the humanitarian situation and political is also needed. Humanitarian corridors are not sufficient to address the challenges as the regime seeks to rout the rebels. Reduction in violence is needed immediately. There is appearance of war crimes being perpetrated in Aleppo. That regime forces backed by Russia are attacking ambulances, medical supplies and hospital attacks. Attacks on hospitals in the last week being the most recorded to date. The situation in Aleppo is not only seriously problematic but shows the failure of the political process.

This is also a wakeup call for the international community. The current approach is not working. What is needed is a clear plan for stabilization and re=starting the political process.

1:11:45: Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine. Since April, the humanitarian situation has been seriously deteriorating. UN Security Council has been called for. The humanitarian initiative recently proposed by the Russians for humanitarian corridors is revealing: despite obligations and commitments to adhere to the cessation of violence, in reality there has been an extension of the siege of the city. All that is needed is already in the UN resolutions. But the Syrian regime continues to deny humanitarian access. Pressure is needed on the Syrian government and its allies to honor their commitments.

Amb. Yelchenko is convince that the regime believes that with the help of its allies it capable of imposing a military solution to the conflict. He believes the continuation of the siege effectively means the end of the Vienna process. The Russian government has said it is committed to a political solution yet its actions tell another story. Thermobaric weapons and chemical weapons need to be confirmed.

Being party to the conflict Russia leaves no moral ground for Russia to impose itself as a mediator in the Syrian peace process. It is precisely the Russian Federations’ support of the Assad regime that has led to the current situation and taken the violence to a new level. As in the Ukraine, Russia continues to stir up the violence in Syria including through supplying military personnel, arms and ammunition, conducting military operations and spreading false propaganda.