The United States Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power blamed Russia for the surge in violence in Syria after the ceasefire agreement collapsed last week following a US-led airstrike in Deir Ez-Zor that killed 62 Syrian Army soldiers and left scores injured causing fighting to intensify to a breaking point.
Russia points to the over 300 ceasefire violations by US-backed Syrian rebels in the first days of the ceasefire and the refusal of the so-called ‘moderates’ to adhere to the conditions of the agreement forged by Russia and the United States which called for the rebels to disassociate with the terror group Al-Nusra Front, Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate until a recent rebrand.
The United Nations Security Council met on Sunday at the request of the US, Britain and France to discuss the deteriorating situation in the city of Aleppo as the Assad government escalated airstrikes in an effort to tighten the siege and break a longstanding stalemate with the opposition rebels.
On Thursday, the rebels allege that the Syrian Army Air Force struck a facility compromising the water supply for some 250,000 residents of rebel-held East Aleppo.
In an unprecedented act of terroristic reprisal the rebels shut off the water supply for 1.5 million residents in government controlled West Aleppo causing an almost unheard of humanitarian toll with UNICEF raising the alarm of an imminent danger of mass childhood fatalities if desperate families are forced to drink contaminated water.
Despite the nuance of the situation, Samantha Power barreled in with accusations against Moscow saying, "What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counter-terrorism, it is barbarism."
"Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and Assad make war. Instead of helping get life-saving aid to civilians, Russia and Assad are bombing the humanitarian convoys, hospitals and first responders who are trying desperately to keep people alive," exclaimed Power.
"It is time to say who is carrying out those airstrikes and who is killing civilians," Power said. "Russia holds a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. This is a privilege and it is a responsibility. Yet in Syria and in Aleppo, Russia is abusing this historic privilege."
Britain’s UN ambassador Matthew Rycroft joined in the chorus saying that Russia would be excluded from the process of bring peace to Syria based on the recent intensification of fighting.
The Russian bid to bring peace to Syria "is very, very near the end of its life and yes the Security Council needs to be ready to fulfill our responsibilities," said Rycroft. "The regime and Russia have instead plunged to new depths and unleashed a new hell on Aleppo. Russia is partnering with the Syrian regime to carry out war crimes."
On the ground realities tell a more complex story with the Western coalition aligned with rebel groups who have joined forces with an al-Qaeda affiliate under the umbrella group "The Army of Conquest" who shut off all water to over 1.5 million civilians in what may be the single greatest terror act in human history while the Assad government has engaged in shocking bombing raids in its own right.
Russia’s Vitaly Churkin explained that peace after the collapse of the ceasefire is nearly "impossible."
"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," said Churkin.
The UN Syrian mediator Staffan de Mistura attempted to rally calls for peace among the despair appealing for the UN Security Council to come up with a way to enforce a ceasefire in Syria.
"I am still convinced that we can turn the course of events. We have proven this more than once before," he said adding that he would never quit working to bring peace to Syria.
"Any sign of me resigning would be a signal that the international community is abandoning the Syrians, and we will not abandon the Syrians, and neither will you."