On 19 February, the Special Representative of the Syrian National Coalition to the United Nations, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, submitted a letter to the UN Security Council ahead of the humanitarian briefing by OCHA chief, Mr. Stephen O’Brien. The letter highlighted the humanitarian effects of the recent escalation of indiscriminate aerial bombardment on Aleppo by Russia and the Assad regime and reiterated the Syrian opposition’s call for the protection of civilians throughout Syria. It called on Member States to:
- Condemn the recent escalation of aerial bombardment on Aleppo by the Syrian regime and Russia, in addition to all indiscriminate aerial bombardment and attacks against civilians, civilian targets, and vital facilities;
- Break the sieges across Syria, not only in the areas reached on 17 February, but across all of the areas currently being starved into submission. If the achievement of humanitarian corridors is not possible because of Syrian regime intransigence, then it is imperative that Member States airdrop aid to Syria’s 46 besieged communities;
- Protect civilians from indiscriminate aerial bombardment, including by enforcing a no-bombing zone to stop the indiscriminate airstrikes across Syria.
- Ensure accountability for war crimes, including those perpetrated by the Russian Federation, and take steps to establish a special international tribunal for Syria, should Security Council paralysis prevent the referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.