London, 14 May – British MP David Jones has penned an opinion piece at politicshome.com calling the bombing of civilians in Aleppo ‘tantamount to a war crime’. Jones, the Conservative MP for Clwyd West in Wales, welcomed the extension of the ceasefire to include Aleppo and said international efforts should now focus on how to ensure the fragile pause holds.
Aleppo has been the epicentre of the fiercest fighting in recent months. Once Syria’s most populous and prosperous city, Aleppo now lies in ruins. Closer examination of the conflict and the main players reveal the strong presence of Iranian soldiers and affiliated militias like Hezbollah.
In an interview with ncr-iran.org Brigadier General Mithghal al-Batish of the Free Syrian Army said Assad’s forces were only serving minor roles such as translation and providing local knowledge. Assad relies on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to fight for his survival, the General said. Therefore the international community has to hold Iran’s government also accountable for much of the indiscriminate killing of civilians.
Tehran’s desperation to save Assad is evident in the appointment of Abolfazl Tabatabai-Ashkezari as the representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Syria. Red lines have been drawn with Iran’s being to keep Bashar al-Assad in power even to the point of mass murder.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, has called the inaction on the part of the international community a blemish on its record. Jones ends his piece by stating Western nations must press the Iranian government to end support for Assad or face the consequence of escalating violence in a region that is teetering on the edge.