US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power condemned Syria’s leaflets, urging civilians in rebel-held East Aleppo to flee and offering them safe passage and access to temporary shelters “chilling,” insisting that the civilians must never trust a government “that’s bombed & starved them.”
Syria’s military has increased its control over the area surrounding Aleppo recently, controlling all roads leading into the east. Eastern Aleppo is controlled mostly by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) having a presence in two of the districts.
Power’s condemnation of leaflets urging civilians to evacuate, apart from being in keeping with condemning Syria for whatever they do, doesn’t make a lot of sense, since it exactly mirrors what Iraq has done in recovering cities from ISIS, trying to get as many civilians as possible out before using US airstrikes to pound the fighters within.
UN officials called on the fighters within Aleppo to also guarantee civilians the access to the corridors, and added that civilians couldn’t be forced to flee. Undersecretary-General Stephen O’Brien urged a weekly 58-hour humanitarian pause to allow aid into sieged areas nationwide.