Urgent Action Needed as Russian ‘Corridors’ Aim to Cleanse Aleppo

[28 July 2016] The Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee condemns Russia’s proposal to facilitate population transfers from Aleppo.  In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, the Syrian opposition today criticized Russia’s alleged plans to create so-called ‘exit corridors’ to empty besieged Aleppo of its last remaining residents.
“The proposed corridors are a euphemism for Russia’s efforts to alter Aleppo’s demographics and ensure forced displacement as a result of the terrible siege and bombardment suffered by the population”, the Syrian opposition HNC’s General Coordinator Dr. Riyad Hijab wrote.

“The forcible displacement of Aleppo’s population is a war crime perpetrated by the Syrian regime and a permanent member of the Security Council. The displacement of Aleppo’s population runs contrary to the political process and efforts to seek a political solution, which your office and Your Excellency’s Special Envoy for Syria have pursued via Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).” Russia’s actions jeopardize the mission of the UN Special Envoy and efforts to achieve peace in Syria.

To avert the further destruction of Aleppo and the slaughter of its residents, the Syrian opposition HNC calls on the Secretary-General to champion Syrians’ protection from genocide.  As in previous letters to the Secretary-General and the Security Council, we call on the UN Secretary-General to press Member States to:

  1. Protect civilians in Aleppo and across Syria by taking concrete measures to deter indiscriminate airstrikes.
  2. Break Assad’s sieges, including of Aleppo and ensure sustained impartial, humanitarian access to all residents in Aleppo and across Syria, irrespective of Syrian regime consent.
  3. Ensure accountability for war crimes by holding those responsible for war crimes to account.