Sunday, September 25, 2016

UN Security Council deeply divided over Russian airstrikes in Syria

Over the past three days, the Syrian city of Aleppo has been pummeled by over 150 airstrikes from Russian forces as well as the Syrian government under the direction of Bashar al-Assad. On Sunday alone, over 60 people were killed in these airstrikes, the majority of which targeted neighborhoods of the city that are currently in rebel hands. In response to these ongoing airstrikes, the United Nations Security Council convened on Sunday for an emergency meeting in order to consider action in response to these strikes. The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, as well as the United Kingdom's Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, both condemned Russia's role in these strikes and criticized its political and military support for the Assad regime. Power referred to Russia's action as "barbarism," while Rycroft said that the Assad regime and Russia have "plunged to new depths and unleashed a new hell on Aleppo." A ceasefire was negotiated on September 9 between the United States and Russia to temporarily halt fighting for humanitarian purposes. However, this ceasefire was irrevocably terminated when Russia bombed an aid convoy near Aleppo on Monday. Russia's fellow permanent members of the UN Security Council, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, all condemn Russia's support for the Assad regime. In spite of this, the fifth permanent member, China, supports Russia and the Assad regime, creating a noticeable rift in the Security Council.

-Justin Wysocke

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