RIYADH: Abdullatif Al-Zayani, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretary-general, on Sunday strongly condemned the shelling and killings of innocent men, women and children in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The northern Syrian city has been under attack despite the fact that talks are underway which demand that the Syrian government halt its bombardment and agree to a freeze in fighting.
“The GCC decries the worsening violence amid the already desperate humanitarian situation in Syria, particularly in Aleppo,” said Al-Zayani. He lamented that the “spiral of violence is killing innocent victims, besides destroying property.” He condemned “these heinous crimes against unarmed civilians” as crimes against humanity and called for the UN Security Council to immediately intervene to stop this escalation.
GCC countries hold the Syrian regime, and the forces supporting it, responsible for the brutal attacks and violent shelling in the city of Aleppo, he added.
Referring to efforts made by the GCC to ensure peace and security in Syria, Al-Zayani said that the Gulf states have been trying to restore normalcy. A GCC member state, Qatar, requested an emergency meeting of the body to discuss the future course of action after the Aleppo attack. The meeting will be held on May 4.
The call came after a number of charities launched emergency aid efforts in the city to provide food and medicines.
The shelling of Aleppo and the killing of innocent civilians has also prompted the international community to swing into action. US Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Switzerland for urgent talks on Syria. The US State Department says Kerry will leave Sunday for Geneva, where he will hold meetings the following day with the UN envoy for Syria, as well as the foreign ministers of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Kerry will review efforts to reaffirm the truce nationwide and broaden the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged communities.
He will also be looking at ways in which the now-suspended peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition can be restarted.
Nearly 10 days of bombardments by Syrian government forces on the city of Aleppo have killed more than 250 people, a monitoring group says, confounding hopes of an end to five years of war.

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