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April 23, 2021

Syria conflict: UN says 200,000 have fled Aleppo battle

France says it will push a new effort to address the crisis in Syria through the UN.

-Some 200,000 people have fled intense fighting in Syria’s second city Aleppo in the past two days, the UN has said, quoted by BBC. UN humanitarian chief Baroness Valerie Amos said others were trapped in the city and needed urgent help.Government forces launched a ground assault on Saturday after a week of sporadic shelling and sorties by fighter jets.The BBC’s Ian Pannell, in the Aleppo area, says residents are facing food shortages and power cuts. He says the rebels are outgunned by the army, but they are fighting an effective guerrilla war in the streets.Fighting has focused on the the Salah al-Din neighbourhood in Aleppo’s south-west, where the rebels had embedded themselves. Syrian state television showed footage from the city and interviewed soldiers who said they had taken complete control of Salah al-Din late on Sunday.On Monday, officials in Damascus again said they had “purged” the area.The Turkish army has sent reinforcements including missile batteries to the Syrian border, state-run Anatolian news agency reportsIn another development, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (photo) said Monday that France will request a Security Council meeting, “probably on the ministerial level,” by the end of this week. France takes over the rotating Security Council presidency on Wednesday.Fabius called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad an “executioner” and echoed fears of a possible massacre voiced earlier by the United States, Britain and the United Nations.

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