Around 300,000 Syrians could lose access to humanitarian aid if government forces encircle the city of Aleppo, which could send more than 100,000 new refugees out of the city, the United Nations’ humanitarian office warned Tuesday (Reuters). The government’s recent offensive on Aleppo, bolstered by Russian airstrikes, has already sent more than 30,000 refugees to the Syrian-Turkish border. Turkish aid groups have been delivering food and supplies to the refugees, most of whom have not been allowed to cross into Turkey (AFP). Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to step up diplomatic efforts to halt the fighting around Aleppo (Al Jazeera).
“Aleppo may prove to be the Sarajevo of Syria. It is already the Munich. By which I mean that the city’s plight today — its exposure to Putin’s whims and a revived Assad’s pitiless designs — is a result of the fecklessness and purposelessness over almost five years of the Obama administration,” writes Roger Cohen for the New York Times.
“Russia's intervention in Syria should not be viewed in isolation. The capture of Aleppo means that Moscow will have many more bargaining chips when it comes to dealing with the West over issues such as Ukraine or Georgia,” writes Luke Coffey for Al Jazeera.
“Turkey and the two other nations sheltering Syrian refugees, Jordan and Lebanon, cannot be treated as little more than holding pens for migrants. The EU’s 28 nations need to demonstrate that those refugees with a genuine case for asylum will be accepted into European states,” writes the Financial Times.
CFR-Daily News Brief