August 17, 2016 - 14:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Tuesday, August 16 of an unprecedented "humanitarian catastrophe" in Syria's Aleppo and urged Russia and the United States to quickly reach a deal on a ceasefire in the city and elsewhere in the country, Reuters reports.
Fighting for control of Aleppo, split between its government-held west and rebel-held eastern neighborhoods, has intensified in recent weeks causing hundreds of deaths and depriving many civilians of power, water and vital supplies.
"In Aleppo we risk seeing a humanitarian catastrophe unprecedented in the over five years of bloodshed and suffering in the Syrian conflict," Ban told the UN Security Council in his latest monthly report on aid access, seen by Reuters.
Aleppo is one of the bastions of the rebellion to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose army is backed on the ground by Shi'ite Muslim militias from neighboring countries and from the skies by Russian air strikes.
"The fight for territory and resources is being undertaken through indiscriminate attacks on residential areas, including through the use of barrel bombs, killing hundreds of civilians, including dozens of children," Ban said in the UN report, according to Reuters.
"All parties to the conflict are failing to uphold their obligation to protect civilians," he said.
Ban reiterated a UN call for at least a 48-hour humanitarian pause in fighting in Aleppo for aid deliveries and also pushed Moscow and Washington to rapidly reach a deal on a ceasefire.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday discussed securing a ceasefire, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.