The Syrian American Council (SAC) today condemns the barbaric air raids of Russian and Assad regime warplanes on Aleppo City and again calls for the United States, alongside the world community, to speedily impose a no-fly zone to halt such attacks. Since Thursday, at least 213 civilians have been killed in besieged Aleppo due to air raids with barrel bombs, phosphorous weapons, and "bunker buster" bombs that destroy underground facilities. Most headquarters of the "White Helmets" rescue teams have been destroyed amid casualties so numerous that hospitals are operating beyond capacity.
The fierce attacks began only 24 hours after a speech by Secretary of State John Kerry condemning an earlier Russian attack on a UN aid convoy. During the speech, Kerry asked, "How can people go sit at a table with a regime that bombs hospitals...and acts with impunity...You're supposed to sit there and have happy talk in Geneva while the regime drops bombs?" Russia delivered an emphatic response with an extensive bombing campaign that included "bunker busters" to destroy underground bomb shelters, leaving civilians defenseless against attacks that have led to horrifying scenes of carnage. The administration is restricting the ability of the Syrian people to defend themselves.
"We've already had nearly a year of diplomatic talks that sought to end attacks on civilians through diplomacy, and now we see that talks only emboldened Russia to commit more horrific massacres," said Mohammed Ghanem, the Government Relations Officer at SAC. "Therefore, even as the diplomatic statements of condemnation keep rolling in, mere statements are no longer enough. Nations that wish to see an end to these war crimes must develop a concrete plan to end them through a no-fly zone that will protect Aleppo's civilians with or without Russian permission."