Use of "surrender or starve" strategy to force capture of Aleppo

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On 5 August 2016 in Aleppo city, Syria, families take shelter in a mosque after the latest wave of attacks. Some families stay indoors, others take shelter under makeshift tents or prefabricated rooms near the mosque's entrance. Photo: UNICEF/Khuder Al-Issa

A "surrender or starve" strategy is being used to force the capture of Aleppo city, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria (COI) has said.

Violence in the Syrian city has reached new heights as government and rebel forces fight for control of the area as well as the remaining supply lines.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

The situation of civilians in Aleppo city is "critical" and demands immediate attention, according to the COI, a UN panel of human rights experts on Syria. 

Civilians have been killed by airstrikes while others have died after being trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings surrounding impact sites. 

The armed group-held neighbourhoods of the city are being pounded daily by air raids conducted by Government and pro-Government forces. 

Meanwhile, civilians living in Government-held areas of Aleppo are being killed by indiscriminate ground shelling of armed groups. 

Here's Alessandra Vellucci, the Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva: 

The Commission is gravely concerned for the safety of civilians, including a reported 100,000 children, living in eastern Aleppo city, where violence has reached new heights in recent weeks as asymmetric warfare intensifies over control of armed group-held neighbourhoods and their principal remaining supply lines, currently the Castello road and access through Ramouseh neighbourhood. These attacks appear to form the prelude to a siege, designed to force the capture of the city through an already-documented strategy of 'surrender or starve'." 

The situation in Aleppo city has been catastrophic for many years, but the panel says the current attacks suggest the agony of its civilians is about to deepen. 

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’32″

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