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France to present UN resolution banning use of Syrian barrel bombs

AFP , Friday 23 Oct 2015
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (Photo: Reuters)
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France will present a draft UN Security Council resolution in the next few days seeking to ban the use of barrel bombs by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed Friday.

"We have to ensure that the regime stops bombing the civilian population," Fabius said after talks with the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

It remains highly unlikely that Russia, Syria's ally, would support such a measure, which comes amid fierce Western criticism of Moscow's dramatic intervention in the Syrian war to support Assad.

Fabius also announced that he will hold talks on Syria with his counterparts from the United States, Britain, Germany and Saudi Arabia in Paris at an as yet unspecified time next week.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will not be part of the talks, Fabius said.

Lavrov was holding talks on the Syrian war with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday in Vienna, along with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Turkey's Feridun Sinirlioglu in Vienna.

Human rights groups say barrel bombings by the Syrian regime -- mainly launched by helicopter -- are the biggest killer in the four-year war, claiming more civilian lives than attacks by ISIS group fighters.

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