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UN condemns Syria over civilian attacks
[UNITED NATIONS] UN member states on Tuesday overwhelmingly condemned escalating attacks against civilians in Aleppo and called for a ceasefire to pave the way to a settlement of the five-year war in Syria.
A resolution drafted by Saudi Arabia, which is backing rebels fighting the Syrian government, was adopted by a vote of 116 to 15, with 49 abstentions, in the General Assembly's human rights committee.
Russia and Iran, Syria's allies in the war, were among the 15 who voted against the measure, which is expected to go to the full assembly next month.
The UN rights committee has voted every year to condemn Syria over the human rights crisis since the war began in Mar 2011.
Saudi Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi recited poetry about Aleppo and invoked the fate of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose lifeless body washed ashore in Turkey last year, as he appealed for support.
Syria's Ambassador Bashar Jaafari shot back, saying the "Saudi regime should be the last to talk about human rights" and defending his government for waging what he termed as a war against terrorism.
The resolution expresses outrage and grave concern at the violence in rebel-held east Aleppo and demands that humanitarian aid be delivered to all Syrians in need.
It deplores the attack on an aid convoy in rural Aleppo on Sept19 and calls for the perpetrators to be held accountable.
Backed by Russia, Syria launched a fresh assault on rebel strongholds on Tuesday as diplomatic efforts to end the war remained deadlocked.
More than 300,000 people have died in the war that began with anti-government protests.
The committee also criticised Iran for its use of the death penalty in a resolution adopted by a vote of 85 to 35 with 63 abstentions.