Syria: Aid gets into Aleppo after ten months, nation referred to International Criminal Court

A rarity occurred today in Syria’s Aleppo as humanitarian aid from the United Nations has entered the province known to be constantly under siege.

After ten months, food, blankets and health kits were able to be delievered by Syria’s Red Crescent and the UN refugee agency Wednesday. “The operation took place after the implementation of a ceasefire between all the parties that was respected during the mission,” a spokesperson said.

United Nations human rights chief says violations by Syria’s government “far outweigh” the rebels. In Navi Pillay’s address to the UN Security Council, she referred the Syria case to the International Criminal Court, which the Syria envoy opposed.

“Clearly the actions of the forces of the government far outweigh the violations (by rebels),” Pillay told reporters. “It’s the government that is mostly responsible for the violations and all these perpetrators should be identified and can if there’s a referral to the International Criminal Court.”

“There has to be justice and accountability and the situation in Syria should not be allowed to slip through the cracks,” she said after briefing the Security Council.

France says the survival of President Bashar al-Assad would be a “total impasse” for Syria.

On the ground

Syria government forces have recaptured a rebel controlled border town near Lebanon Wednesday. The offensive from both Assad troops and Hezbollah forces to take Rankus was a part of an operation to take back a region off the Lebanon border that includes Yabroud and the Qalamoun mountains.

“We feel betrayed. It seems the whole world is with Hezbollah and the Syrian regime now and we have been dumped,” a Lebanese resident in in Arsal who helps Syria rebels said on Wednesday. Multiple people told the CS Monitor they believe Assad will go to Zabadani next, which is even closer to the Lebanese border.

A car bomb went off in Homs city and state media reported there were an unknown number of casualties.

As a backer of the Syrian government, Iran has sent Syria 30,000 tons of food supplies to help with shortages.

Through talks

United States Secretary of State John Kerry publicly stated Tuesday that an American strike on Syria would not have been as devastating as many predicted it to be.

“It would not have had a devastating impact by which he had to recalculate, because it wasn’t going to last that long,” Kerry told the [U.S.] Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Here we were going to have one or two days to degrade and send a message… We came up with a better solution.”

U.S. Senator Bob Corker on the Foreign Relations Committee also regrets not having much in Syria, “We didn’t take actions at a time when we could have made a difference; so many on this committee wanted us to do that.”

Headlines

The Pope has expressed “profound pain” at the recent killing of a Dutch priest in Syria and called for an end to the violence.

How many Australians have joined the fight? The Guardian digs into the numbers of foreign fighters in Syria.

A Muslim shrine in a town near Damascus is standing as a crossroads in Syria’s ongoing unrest.

In a strong New Yorker piece, Joshua Hersch writes on how “in Damascus, everyone comes to the Zeriab Cafe.”

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