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France wants war crime investigation

A destroyed ambulance is seen outside the Syrian Civil Defence main centre after air strikes in the Ansari neighbourhood of the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo. Photo: SYRIAN CIVIL DEFENCE WHITE HELMETS/AP
A destroyed ambulance is seen outside the Syrian Civil Defence main centre after air strikes in the Ansari neighbourhood of the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo. Photo: SYRIAN CIVIL DEFENCE WHITE HELMETS/AP Uncredited

FRANCE will ask the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes by Russia and Syria in Aleppo, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says.

UN officials and Western powers have in recent days expressed outrage at air strikes that have hit hospitals, an aid convoy and other civilian targets in rebel-held areas of northern Syria, including eastern Aleppo city.

"Who has carried out the bombardments? There are the Syrians, but also the Russians, who have come with their sophisticated weapons that allow them to penetrate down to bunkers where people are trying to protect themselves,” Mr Ayrault said.

He visited Moscow and Washington last week before a UN Security Council vote on two resolutions aimed at implementing a ceasefire in the besieged city. Both failed to pass.

One failed because of opposition from Russia and Venezuela, prompting Ayrault to say the vote "demonstrated the isolation of Russia.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called the September shelling of two hospitals a war crime.

Topics:  aleppo international criminal court



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