Ban Ki-moon “appalled” by escalation of fighting in Syria’s Aleppo

A Syrian man walks past a heavily damaged building following air strikes on rebel-held eastern areas of Aleppo ©Karam al-Masri (AFP)
A Syrian man walks past a heavily damaged building following air strikes on rebel-held eastern areas of Aleppo ©Karam al-Masri (AFP)

UN chief Ban Ki-moon is “appalled by the chilling military escalation” in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo, his spokesman says.

Stephane Dujarric said the secretary-general was alarmed by reports of air strikes involving incendiary weapons and bunker-busting bombs.

The Syrian government has stepped up strikes on rebel-held areas of the city since a ceasefire collapsed last week.

The UN Security Council is due to meet on Sunday morning in New York.

The meeting was requested by the US, the UK and France.

Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has suggested that a deadly attack on an aid convoy in Syria last week could have been deliberately carried out by Russian aircraft. If so, he said it could amount to a war crime.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was “not only… handing [Syrian President Bashar] Assad the revolver”, he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme. “He is in some instances actually firing the revolver himself.”

Russia has denied carrying out the attack, blaming instead rebel artillery.

Mr Dujarric said in a statement: “Since the announcement two days ago by the Syrian army of an offensive to capture eastern Aleppo, there have been repeated reports of air strikes involving the use of incendiary weapons and advanced munitions such as bunker-buster bombs.

“The secretary-general considers this a dark day for the global commitment to protect civilians.”

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