Bloodshed in Aleppo continues

The EU rules out sanctions against Russia, despite its role in the ongoing bombing

The EU won’t sanction Russia for bombing Aleppo

The European Union says it won’t consider any sanctions against Russia despite its part in the ongoing bombing of Aleppo, which has seen 45 people killed in the last 24 hours, including 14 from a single family.

On Monday, the EU’s foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said no sanctions against Russia had “been proposed by any [EU] member state” despite international outcry over Russian bombing of civilian areas of the Syrian city Aleppo, acts described as “war crimes” by the U.K. and the U.S.

Mogherini’s comments came as she arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, where the agenda was expected to be dominated by the Syrian crisis. Despite some of the 28 EU-member countries leaning toward action against Russia, AFP reported that Mogherini suggested existing sanctions against Syria could be expanded: “We have sanctions on the Syrian regime and there are discussions on that, for sure. [Expanding] that could be possible.”

The former Italian foreign minister said she was “personally proud” that the EU was not directly involved on the ground in the conflict in Syria, according to Politico.

Russian warplanes have continually bombed the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo over the past month in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. More than a quarter-million civilians are believed to be trapped in the district, enduring daily bombings, while their supply routes have been cut off by government forces.

On Monday, a dozen civilians were killed in the rebel-held district of Marjeh in east Aleppo, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, including five children. This brings the number who have died in the last 24 hours to 45, including 14 members of the same family killed in one airstrike, according to the White Helmet Civil Defense rescuers.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spent the weekend in talks with the various parties involved, including a discussion with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov that he described as “candid,” though no concrete decision on a cease-fire was reached. “A number of ideas came from a number of different ministers, as we hoped, that might be able to shape some different approaches,” Kerry told reporters.


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