On 16 June on the margins of his visit to Ukraine, Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on the actions of ISIS and Assad regime troops to the north of Aleppo:
I am greatly concerned by the news of the most recent military developments to the north of Aleppo. Here, the civilian population is being exposed to almost simultaneous attacks from both ISIS and Assad regime units. During the day the regime bombs the positions of the opposition fighters in Marea and the access roads from the west to prevent opposition reinforcements from reaching Marea. During the night ISIS then attacks the positions of the opposition fighters which have been weakened by the bombing.
I condemn the repeated use of barrel bombs by the Syrian regime in the strongest possible terms. The United Nations Security Council has prohibited the use of barrel bombs.
ISIS has broadened its control in the region to the north-east of Aleppo, directly to the south of the Turkish-Syrian border, with serious consequences for the civilian population. Marea, which lies to the south-east of A’zaz, is – in addition to the threat from advancing IS units – being targeted by shelling from the Assad regime’s air force and artillery. Barrel bombs have also been deployed. Observers report that the regime is deploying 15 to 20 barrel bombs every day in the region around Aleppo.