Heavy Fighting Erupts in Syria’s City of Aleppo

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Aleppo has been the centre of intense combat between Government and opposition forces over recent days in Syria where heavy fighting has caused some 200,000 to flee the populous city.

Reports say there have been reports of an escalation in violence in many towns particularly in Aleppo and villages, as well as Damascus.

Media reports also citess that there are concentration of troops and heavy weapons around Aleppo.

Amidst the escalation of violence and fear of more civilian casualties, the United Nations top humanitarian official today urged all parties in the Middle Eastern country allow humanitarian access to people caught up in the violence.

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Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria, on his way to a press conference about the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). UN Photo

“I am extremely concerned by the impact of shelling and use of tanks and other heavy weapons on people in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city, as well as in the capital Damascus and surrounding towns.” -Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos

Ms. Amos calls all parties to the fighting to allow humanitarian organizations safe access to bring urgent and life-saving help to people caught up in the fighting.

According to Ms. Amos, it is not known how many people remain trapped in places where fighting continues today.

Ms. Amos reports many people have sought temporary shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas where they urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water.

In addition, the security situation in cities and along main transport routes has made it very difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach displaced families in Aleppo, Hama and other areas.

However, Ms. Amos pointed out that despite the very dangerous situation, the Red Crescent, UN agencies and partners have continued to deliver food, blankets and hygiene kits whenever and wherever they can.

Also over the weekend, the Joint Special Envoy for the UN and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Kofi Annan, expressed his concern over reports

Yesterday, the United Nations peacekeeping chief said crisis remains “of utmost concern.”

Earlier this week, the Council extended UNSMIS for a final period of 30 days.

In May this year, with the ongoing violence in Syria, the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian Crisis Kofi Annan said the UN observer mission is possibly the only remaining chance to stabilize the war-torn country.

Mr. Annan has stressed that the ongoing levels of violence and human rights abuses in the Middle Eastern country are unacceptable.

He has said that it is clear that the presence of the observers serving with the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) has had a calming effect in some situations.

In April this year, UN Security Council authorized a UN supervision mission in Syria, charged with monitoring compliance with the full set of commitments and obligations laid out in Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s Six-Point Plan.

The “United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS)is comprised of an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers as well as an appropriate civilian component.”

Since the adoption of resolution 2042, in which the Council unanimously called on the Syrian government to honor all its obligations, including a sustained cessation of violence.

However, the regime has unleashed yet another wave of horrific violence against its own people resulting in the deaths of scores of Syrians daily.

Reports say the government’s use of shelling and heavy weaponry, in particular in Homs, has reached levels that surpass those before the ceasefire.

In addition, reports say precious little progress had been made on the issue of humanitarian access, with an estimated one million civilians still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.