Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 06:25 AM IST

France, Germany threaten sanctions against Russia over Aleppo airstrikes

Updated: Oct 20, 2016 10:43 IST

London [UK], Oct. 20 (ANI): French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel lashed out on Thursday at Russian President Vladimir Putin over Moscow's bombardment of Aleppo and refused to rule out imposing sanctions on the country.

"What is happening in Aleppo is a war crime; one of the first demands is that the bombardments by the regime and its [Russian] backers must end," said Hollande after a meeting between the three leaders in Berlin.

Merkel condemned the air raids on Aleppo as "inhumane and cruel", reports the Guardian.

Both the leaders warned that they could not exclude imposing sanctions on Russia, hours ahead of an EU summit where Russia's role in Syria is set to be discussed.

"Everything that can constitute a threat can be useful," said Hollande, while Merkel added: "We cannot remove this option."

Turning to a planned ceasefire due to begin in Aleppo later on Thursday morning, Hollande said Putin appeared to be ready to extend the truce, set to last for 11 hours.

"We came out of the meeting with the impression that there could be an extension of the truce, but it's up to the Syrian regime and Russia to show it," he said.

A truce of just a few hours would not be enough to deliver the necessary humanitarian aid and allow civilians to leave the area, he added.

The Syrian army separately said that the ceasefire would last three days.

Last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also said that they were considering fresh economic sanctions against the Syrian Government and its supporters, apparently Russia, in response to the continued bombardment of Aleppo.

However, the two nations failed to develop any consensus for tougher military options, including a no-bombing zone.

Kerry said the west will look again at intensifying economic sanctions. He, however, did not specify Russia as a target.

"We are considering additional sanctions and we are also making clear that President Obama has not taken any options off the table," said Kerry.

Aleppo, held by rebels determined to oust President Bashar al-Assad, has come under heavy bombardment since the Russian-backed military announced an offensive in late September to regain control of the east.

Air strikes there have flattened numerous residential buildings and civilian facilities, in a campaign the European Union said could amount to war crimes. (ANI)

Ankara [Turkey], Mar. 30 (ANI): Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced the end of Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in August last year to eliminate the Daesh presence in northern Syria.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Mar. 30 (ANI): A top U.S. general has said it's "fair to assume" that Russia is providing support to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Full Story >>

Washington D. C. [USA], Mar. 30 (ANI): The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked 20 people to be questioned in its investigation of Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

Full Story >>

12 killed, 3 injured in Texas church bus crash

Updated: Mar 30, 2017 05:13 IST

New York [USA], Mar. 30 (ANI): At least 12 people were killed and three others injured in a head-on crash Wednesday between a church bus and pick-up truck in southwest Texas.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 30 (ANI): Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said the Dawn leaks' inquiry report will be published, unlike findings of other commissions in the past.

Full Story >>

Washington D. C [USA], Mar. 30 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump's elder daughter Ivanka Trump will become an official government employee, joining her husband Jared Kushner in serving as an unpaid advisor to her father in the White House.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 30 (ANI): Hours after the Britain invoked Article 50 to start the formal process of Brexit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel dealt an instant blow to British Prime Minister Theresa May's plan of holding trade talks at the same time as Article 50 secession negotiations.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 30 (ANI): Prime Minister Theresa May has been accused of threatening to use the safety of British and European citizens as a bargaining chip in Brexit talks.

Full Story >>

Dubai [UAE], Mar. 29 (ANI): The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cabinet today approved a decision to grant Indian passport holders 'visa on arrival' provided they have a valid US visa or a green card holder.

Full Story >>

Indian Army gifts seven horses to Nepal Army

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 21:20 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], Mar. 29 (ANI): Organising a special function, the visiting Chief of Army Staff of India, General Bipin Rawat, handed over a stallion light breed, two brood mares, two gelds and two donkey stallions to his Nepali Counterpart General Rajendra Chhetri today.

Full Story >>

Kathmandu [Nepal], Mar. 29 (ANI): Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was conferred with the title of 'Honorary General of the Nepal Army' by Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari in a grand ceremony on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 29 (ANI): The UK government has kick started the Brexit process for Britain to formally leave the European Union (EU) in two years time by triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Full Story >>

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 29 (ANI): Investigators in Bangladesh have started preliminary investigation against controversial businessman Moosa Bin Shamser after they received information that he had committed crimes during the 1971 war.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 29 (ANI): India has become a net exporter of electricity from being a net importer of electricity as the country exported 5,798 million units of electricity to Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar this year, according to an official release.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 29 (ANI): Four members of a new faction of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (New JMB) were detained by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from Dhaka's Dohar area.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India will be delighted to welcome Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to the country, adding that his counterpart's visit will boost relations between the two countries.

Full Story >>

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

Full Story >>

Dubai [UAE], Mar. 29 (ANI): Pakistan is pursuing a two faced policy of trying to befriend Iran and at the same time maintaining close ties with Saudi Arabia, according to informed sources and in the process is angering both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Full Story >>

Trump attacks NYT, asks it to be more honest

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 06:46 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Citing a report in United States' news daily New York Post, President Donald Trump has attacked New York Times stating that the news daily's deteriorating readership could have improved had it been honest about its reports.

Full Story >>