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EU leaders 'to demand Russia, Assad halt attacks on rebels'

A Syrian man carries his two girls across rubble following a barrel bomb attack on Aleppo's rebel-held al-Kalasa neighbourhoodEU leaders will demand at a summit that Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, its long-term ally, immediately halt attacks on moderate opposition groups and bolster peace efforts, a draft document said Thursday. The 28 European Union leaders were due to issue the appeal after the two-day meeting in Brussels amid efforts to implement an agreement reached by world powers in Munich last week to cease hostilities and ramp up humanitarian access. “The European Council calls on Russia and the Syrian regime to stop at once attacking moderate opposition groups, which threatens the prospects for peace, benefits Daesh and drives the refugee crisis,” the council said in a draft obtained by AFP.

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