Amid mounting international concern about the tragic situation in Aleppo, the Ministry of External Affair on Thursday said India would welcome any reduction in violence and cessation of hostilities in Syria. “Protection of civilians should be priority number one. We have always stood for Syria’s territorial integrity. At the same time, selective approaches to dealing with terrorist groups have had negative effect as has been proved around the world. There can be no military solution to the conflict and the focus should be on an inclusive Syrian-led political dialogue,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup told media here.
Rebel groups held eastern Aleppo for more than four years after the Arab Spring uprising and a Syrian regime siege on the area, had essentially cut it off from the outside world. Now, thousands are fleeing as bombs continue to fall on the remaining rebel-held areas and as the battle reaches its end.
UNICEF regional director Geert Cappelaere said that he had received “alarming reports” that “possibly more than 100 children, unaccompanied or separated from their families, are trapped in a building, under heavy attack in east Aleppo.”