ALEPPO, Syria: The UN’s aid chief warned on Wednesday (Nov 30) that Aleppo risked becoming a “giant graveyard” after more than 50,000 people were reported to have fled intense fighting between government and rebel forces.
As the Security Council met for emergency talks on the fighting in New York, Syria’s opposition urged the UN to take immediate steps to protect civilians.
A Syrian government offensive to retake all of the divided city has battered Aleppo in recent days, with regime shelling on an opposition-controlled area reported to have killed at least 26 civilians.
Artillery shells rained down on one southeastern rebel-held district. The motionless body of a girl lay crumpled in the street, her arm severed and her head pierced by shrapnel. Rescue volunteers carried her body away on a motorcycle.
Speaking to a special Security Council session by video-link from London, Stephen O’Brien, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, appealed for action to stop the fighting.
“For the sake of humanity we call on – we plead – with the parties and those with influence to do everything in their power to protect civilians and enable access to the besieged part of eastern Aleppo before it becomes one giant graveyard,” he said.