Boris Johnson summons Russia and Iran ambassadors

People fleeing violence in AleppoImage copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

People can be seen trying to escape from the violence in the city

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has summoned Russia and Iran’s UK ambassadors to discuss his “concern” over the countries’ actions in Syria.

He said they had “failed” to uphold “humanitarian law”, by not helping aid to get through to Aleppo when it was under siege.

Nearly 1,000 people have been evacuated from the city.

Mr Johnson added that Russia and Iran, which support President Bashir al-Assad, deserved “no credit” for this.

Syrian government forces took nearly all remaining rebel-held parts of Aleppo this week after a four-year battle.

But Mr Johnson, who met Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko and Iran’s Hamid Baedinejad separately on Thursday afternoon, said he had conveyed the UK government’s “profound concern over the situation in Aleppo”.

He added: “Both Russia and Iran have failed to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law, specifically by failing to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians during the months when eastern Aleppo was besieged.

“They deserve no credit for the fact that an evacuation appears to be under way today. Having inflicted such suffering on the people of eastern Aleppo, Iran and Russia cannot expect praise for allowing some people to escape at the final hour.

“Both countries need to ensure the UN now oversees the evacuation process and that all civilians and non-combatants are properly protected.”

A statement from the Russian Centre for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria, part of Russia’s ministry of defence, said the Syrian authorities had guaranteed the safety of all members of the armed groups who decided to leave Aleppo.

Boris Johnson summons Russia and Iran ambassadors}

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