09:55 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Aleppo, Syria. (File)

    Johnson Calls Aleppo Anti-Terrorist Airstrikes 'Gross Crime Against Humanity'

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    Airstrikes being carried out against terrorist groups by Syria and Russia in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo are a "gross" crime against humanity, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — At a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, Johnson said:

    "People are continuing to die in Aleppo, far more civilians being killed than militiamen, this is a gross, gross crime against humanity." 

    He added that the Syrian settlement process pursued by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry has not led to a lasting ceasefire with violence in Aleppo ongoing.

    The comments come ahead of a possible meeting between Kerry and Lavrov on the sidelines of Syria talks in Lausanne. The talks will also be attended by regional powers including Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

    Johnson expressed hope that Saturday's meeting would produce some results.

    Johnson has been highly critical of Russia's anti-terrorist campaign in Syria over recent days. On Tuesday, the foreign secretary said Russia was responsible for bombing an aid convoy in Syria’s Aleppo as the satellite photos available to public indicate that the attack was carried out from the air and in the darkness. He added that, since the Syrian army is not able to carry out an attack in the darkness, all the evidence points to Russia.

    Lavrov on Wednesday called Johnson's statements politicking not backed by concrete evidence. He also warned against debating possible war crimes in Syria in the media and said that such discussions should be in line with the existing international procedures.

    Syria's civil war between government forces and a wide range of insurgents, including terrorists opposition forces, has ranged for some five years and has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

    On September 9, Lavrov and Kerry unveiled a new peace plan to address the conflict. The ceasefire deal was later shattered by numerous violations, which resulted in intensified fighting between the Syrian government and militants in Aleppo. The Syrian government later announced an end to the ceasefire regime, while Russia said that the United States failed to fulfill its obligation to separate terrorist groups from moderate opposition.


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    airstrike, The Syrian war, Boris Johnson, Syria, Russia, Aleppo
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