BRUSSELS (AFP) - The attacks on civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo amount to a "breach of international humanitarian law," top EU officials said on Saturday, urging the international community to intensify peace efforts.
"The indiscriminate suffering being caused among innocent civilians... is an unacceptable breach of international humanitarian law," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and humanitarian commissioner Christos Stylianides said in a statement. They denounced the "fire-bombing and shelling" as well as the "deliberate targeting" of a humanitarian convoy last week and the "cutting off of water supplies to the majority of civilians still in the city".
The aid convoy was hit by an airstrike that US officials have said was carried out by Russian planes backing President Bashar al-Assad's regime. UN officials say nearly two million civilians were left without water in the devastated northern city after regime bombardment damaged a pumping station and rebels shut down another in retaliation.
In their statement dated Brussels, Mogherini and Stylianides called the suffering caused by the attacks "an affront" to the whole world.
"It risks to take us ever further from a negotiated settlement of the conflict, which remains the only way of bringing it to an end," they added.
The pair called on those with influence on the regime and those dealing with the armed opposition "to apply the maximum pressure to cease the attacks." They also urged them to work to "allow unhindered and continuous humanitarian access to those in need, and resume political negotiations under the auspices of the UN in Geneva as swiftly as possible".
A truce deal negotiated between Moscow and Washington brought a few days of respite in Aleppo earlier this month, but no humanitarian aid before its total collapse this week.