December 13, 2016 / 9:48 AM / 8 months ago

France calls for U.N. action on Aleppo after "systematic vengeance and terror"

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault speaks during a news briefing after the talks on the crisis in eastern Ukraine in Minsk, Belarus, November 29, 2016.Vasily Fedosenko

PARIS (Reuters) - France on Tuesday called on the United Nations to use all its mechanisms to determine what was happening in the besieged city of Aleppo, warning Russia that it risked being complicit in acts of "vengeance and terror" taking place in the Syrian city.

With growing unverified reports of atrocities against a large number of civilians, including women and children, carried out by Syrian-government backed forces, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said it was more urgent than ever to establish a cessation of hostilities.

"The backers of the regime, starting with Russia, cannot allow this logic of vengeance and terror without taking the risk of being complicit," Ayrault said.

"I call on the United Nations to use without delay all the mechanisms to establish the truth of what is happening in Aleppo so that the international community does not let these crimes remain unpunished," he said.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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