“Syrian pro-government forces in eastern Aleppo have been killing people, including women and children, on the spot in their homes and on the street, the United Nations says.
The UN’s human rights office said streets were full of bodies.
Meanwhile, the UN children’s agency cited a doctor as saying a building housing as many as 100 unaccompanied children was under heavy attack. […]
“We’re filled with the deepest foreboding for those who remain in this last hellish corner” of eastern Aleppo, UN human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told a news conference.
He said that 82 civilians had reportedly been killed by pro-government forces, of whom 11 were women and 13 children, adding that the death toll could be much higher. […]
The UN’s humanitarian adviser on Syria, Jan Egeland, earlier spoke of “massacres of unarmed civilians, of young men, of women, children, health workers”.
He named a pro-government Iraqi Shia militia as being responsible for the killings, but placed overall blame for any atrocities in the hands of the Syrian and Russian governments.
“Those who let them loose in this area are also accountable,” he said.” [emphasis added]
Two days later – on December 15th – Jeremy Bowen appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme (available for a limited period of time from 02:13:35 here) to discuss the situation in Aleppo. The BBC’s Middle East editor is of course charged with providing “analysis that might make a complex story more comprehensive or comprehensible for the audience”.
Towards the end of the item (02:21:57) presenter Mishal Husain asked:
“Jeremy, finally, what we heard from that member of the White Helmets was this fear that after the regime takes full control of this area, everyone will be executed. What will happen? Will there be any sense of accountability? Any parameters?”
Bowen: “You know, let’s hope that doesn’t happen and it makes you…I mean I tend to wonder what they would get out of executing people. You know, I think that it’s not like there’s a crazed militia who are taking over there. They are, you know, I think relatively disciplined troops and you’d wonder why an order to execute everybody would be given. I think, particularly since the…we’re hearing from the ICRC in Geneva that the ICRC and SARC – the Syrian Arab Red Crescent – are gonna be there as well facilitating the evacuation of the wounded, so they’ve allowed in some witnesses potentially. If you’re going to do a massacre I doubt that would happen.” [emphasis added]
For the record.