Tensions between the global powers embroiled in the Syrian conflict have not abated. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled his upcoming visit to France after his French counterpart Francois Hollande said he would only hold talks on the Syrian civil war.
“The Russian veto of the French resolution at the United Nations Security Council has prevented the cessation of bombings,” Hollande said. The resolution – vetoed on Saturday – had been introduced by France and Spain in a bid to end devastating air strikes in Syria’s Aleppo, and prop up aid into the city. On October 3, the United States suspended talks with Russia on the Syrian conflict, accusing it of bombing civilian areas in the country.
Lest we forget, the Americans have also perpetrated similar crimes, besides targeting Syrian army personnel. Late last month, the United Nations suspended all aid shipments after 20 people died in an airstrike on a relief convoy. Meanwhile, fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups intensified after a September 9 ceasefire broke down when an aid convoy was bombed in Aleppo. That was the second time a ceasefire between the warring sides had fallen apart.
Aid groups have said that the situation on the ground is beyond dire. Recent estimates indicate that more than 13 million people require humanitarian assistance. Since the start of this brutal and complex civil war, approximately six million people have been forced to flee their homes. In the past six months alone, nearly 1 million of them have left their homes. Particular attention needs to be diverted to 600,000 Syrians, who are living in besieged areas. They have little access to basic needs, living with the daily threat of brutal violence. In the eastern city of Aleppo, approximately 275,000 people have been entirely cut off from vital supplies, including food, water, medicine, and electricity for over a month.
Amidst the crippling failure of the international community to establish a basic modicum of stability in the country, both Washington and Moscow have seen it fit to take their time to formulate a definitive resolution. They need to get their act together soon.