Syrian opposition: Aleppo violence ‘genocidal’

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FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, file photo, provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, rescue workers work the site of airstrikes in the al-Sakhour neighborhood of the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria. Violence in Aleppo has surged in recent days as a U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire collapsed after one week. The Syrian government and its ally Russia have resumed intense airstrikes and Syrian military officials have spoken of a looming ground offensive against rebel-held districts. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)
FILE – In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, file photo, provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, rescue workers work the site of airstrikes in the al-Sakhour neighborhood of the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

BEIRUT (AP) — A top official with Syria’s main opposition says violence in northern Aleppo is reaching “genocidal proportions,” but that rebel-held parts of the city are not about to fall to government-led forces.

Bassma Kodmani of the High Negotiations Committee, a key player in U.N.-mediated peace talks that stalled in April, says “a large city like this cannot fall easily,” citing Homs to the south, which government forces took months to recapture.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Kodmani said: “We are not talking about a fall of Aleppo within days or even two to three weeks,” just “a level of violence against citizens that is reaching genocidal proportions.”

She lashed out at Russia, a key backer of President Bashar Assad, for allegedly “mocking” the United Nations and its efforts to reach peace

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