The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 19 December 2016 voted to deploy UN observers to Syrian city Aleppo to monitor evacuations and report on the fate of civilians.
The council unanimously adopted a French-drafted resolution 2328 (2016) that marks the first show of unity in months among world powers on the issue.
The measure tasks the UN with carrying out “adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from eastern Aleppo and other districts of the city”.
Brief points of the resolution
- Take note of the efforts to carry out evacuations of civilians and fighters from Aleppo.
- The evacuations must be conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law and principles.
- Ensure the voluntary, safe and dignified passage of all civilians from the eastern districts of Aleppo under the monitoring of and coordination by the UN.
- All parties shall allow complete, immediate, unconditional, safe and unhindered access for the UN to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people through the most direct route.
- The Secretary-General must take urgent steps to make arrangements to allow the observation by the Un of the well-being of civilians.
- The Secretary-General shall report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution within 5 days of adoption of this resolution.
Military Confrontation in Aleppo
- Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, is seeing a major military confrontation (also known as Battle of Aleppo) between the Syrian opposition in partial cooperation with the Army of Conquest and the Syrian Armed Forces of the Syrian Government, supported by Hezbollah and Shiite militias and Russia. The Army of Conquest includes Al-Nusra Front, formerly al-Qaida's Syrian branch.
- The battle began on 19 July 2012. It is a part of the ongoing Syrian Civil War.
- The large scale devastation of the battle led combatants to name it the "mother of battles" or "Syria's Stalingrad".
- The battle caused catastrophic destruction to the Old City of Aleppo, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- The battle represents one of the longest sieges in modern warfare and one of the bloodiest battles of the Syrian Civil War.
- The battle left an estimated 31000 people dead, almost a tenth of the overall war casualties, which is estimated to be at least 400000.