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    Syria: UN decries shelling of schools, Russian embassy
    October 29, 2016, 10:31 am

    UN and relief agency workers saw starving people, malnourished children in two besieged Syrian areas this year [Xinhua]

    UN and relief agency workers saw starving people, malnourished children in two besieged Syrian areas this year [Xinhua]

    The United Nations Security Council on Friday condemned in the strongest terms the shelling of the Russian Embassy in Damascus, Syria and attacks on schools in the country.

    Two mortar shells struck the embassy compound on Friday and caused material damage, Moscow said. This is the second time this month the embassy has come under fire.

    Security sources said the mortar shells were fired from the rebel held district of Jobar.

    The UNSC called for all warring parties to abide by the “fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises”.

    “The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms another mortar shelling on 28 October of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic), which caused significant material damage,” the council statement read.

    The UNSC also strongly condemned attacks on schools in Syria following deadly attacks in Idlib and Aleppo and said that if these are proven deliberate would constitute war crimes.

    On Wednesday, an attack on a school in Idlib killed at least 22 children and teachers. Another attack on a school on Friday left an as yet undetermined number of casualties.

    The UNSC said that “parties to the armed conflict may not make civilians the object of attack or use them as human shields.”

    The UN and various groups have decried the dire humanitarian situation in Aleppo and other cities in Syria, with particular condemnation of the killing of children.

    UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien lambasted the Security Council for failing to prevent the carnage in Syria.

    “This council has been charged with the responsibility for ending this horror. The buck stops with you,” he said.

    “Peoples’ lives [have been] destroyed and Syria itself destroyed. And it is under our collective watch. And it need not be like this – this is not inevitable; it is not an accident … Never has the phrase by poet Robert Burns, of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ been as apt. It can be stopped but you the security council have to choose to make it stop.”

    The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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