UN chief: Intensified attacks in Aleppo mark “dark day”

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Cia Pak

"A dark day for the global commitment to protect civilians."

That is how UN Secretary-General has characterized intensified airstrikes in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is also worried that two million civilians are without water due to the operations.

In a statement issued on Saturday by his spokesperson, Mr Ban called on the international community to unite against the use of indiscriminate weapons in densely populated areas, which he said may amount to war crimes.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr Ban was appalled by what the statement described as the "chilling military escalation" in Aleppo, where the Syrian Army has launched an offensive to capture the eastern part of the city.

The UN estimates some 275,000 people remain trapped there without food, water and medical care.

The air strikes have involved use of incendiary weapons and other indiscriminate weapons such as bunker buster bombs, which can penetrate deep into the earth or through concrete.

"The Secretary-General considers this a dark day for the global commitment to protect civilians," the statement said.

"The international community has to unite to send a clear message that it will not tolerate the use of indiscriminate and ever more deadly and powerful weapons against civilians."

Meanwhile, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that the crisis has left two million people across Aleppo without water.

The attacks damaged a pumping station in the eastern part of the city, which serves about 250,000 residents.

The agency said another facility that supplies the west of the city was shut off in retaliation, cutting service to approximately 1.5 million people.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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