facebook
twitter
search
search

Russia closes consulate in Aleppo

Jan. 15, 2013 at 10:52 AM

ALEPPO, Syria, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Russian Consulate in Aleppo, Syria, has suspended operations, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy Damascus said Tuesday.

Because operations have ceased in Aleppo, the spokesman said, all consular-related issues are to be directed to the embassy, RIA Novosti reported.

Aleppo, Syria's largest city and about 211 miles north of Damascus, has experienced months of vicious fighting between government forces and rebel groups seeking the ouster of President Bashar Assad.

Most of Aleppo is controlled by the Free Syrian Army, an armed opposition group. The city's residents are suffering shortages of food and electricity.

Russia has come under heavy international criticism for its refusal to back U.N. sanctions against Syria. Moscow has denied it is backing Assad, citing concerns the president's forced departure would only worsen the conflict.

At least 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict that began in March 2011, the United Nations estimates. Other organizations have said the number is higher.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Pilot in Taiwan plane crash shut down wrong engine, black boxes show
Texas police body cam video shows fatal shooting
Law enforcement gives 'all clear' after U.S. Navy Yard lockdown
North Korea seeks help from Iran in battle against drought
Talks with NKorea come with conditions, says White House advisor