UN envoy warns Aleppo "not far from a possible collapse"

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Syrian refugees. (UNHCR – O. Laban-Mattei)

Syria's northern province of Aleppo is not far from a possible collapse and the international community needs to stop it from happening.

The warning was issued by the UN Special Envoy to the country at the end of his three-day visit on Tuesday.

Aleppo has been under pressure for years now in tensions between the Government and opposition, Steffan de Mistura noted.

Now, the conflict has escalated with the presence of Da'esh fighters or ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as well as Al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Speaking in Damascus to the local press, he explained how a new UN initiative called "freeze" or Tajmeed in Arabic can help de-escalate the violence.

"That means stop fighting, that means no one moves from where they are, that means facilitating the implementation in that location of (Security Council) resolutions 2178, 2170 and the resolutions for humanitarian aid.  And through that a hope to bring a sign of hope and bring some form of stability and therefore a process towards stability which  if that freeze works in one place, we can replicate it elsewhere." (33″)

De Mistura said if the "freeze" works, he hoped it could be a building block for a political process.

He acknowledged however, that it would not be a substitute to what a political solution is, but it certainly would be an "incentive" in that direction.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’32″


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