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US Ambassador To UN: Russians Are Causing ‘Barbarism’ In Syria

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power called out Russia at an emergency meeting Sunday, saying the country is engaged in “barbarism” in Syria.

Power told her Russian counterpart in a tense U.N. Security Council meeting that, “What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counter-terrorism, it is barbarism.” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin responded in part, “It’s not us that have to prove something to somebody unilaterally.”

Cooperation between the U.S. and Russia regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria hit a new low this past week after a one-week ceasefire came to an end Monday — the first official day of the ceasefire — after a U.N. aid convoy trying to reach civilians in Aleppo was bombed. Eighteen out of 31 trucks in the convoy were destroyed in the strike. The Russian Defense Ministry claims the convoy “caught fire,” in spite of evidence it was clearly targeted by Russian forces.

The American diplomat made her displeasure known in the meeting saying, “What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counter-terrorism, it is barbarism.” Power went on to say, “Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and Assad make war.”

Churkin grimly noted that, “In Syria hundreds of armed groups are being armed, the territory of the country is being bombed indiscriminately and bringing a peace is almost an impossible task now because of this.” The Russian ambassador’s words echoed those of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Wednesday who said in an interview with The Associated Press that, “I believe that the United States is not genuine regarding having a cessation of violence in Syria.”

Aleppo holds 275,000 civilians currently unable to leave the city safely as a result of violence resuming after the failed ceasefire. Two hundred and thirteen people have died since the Assad regime declared Sept. 18 that it was unilaterally ending the ceasefire, according to U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan di Mistura.

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