Kuwaitis protest against Russia
15 Dec 2016 - 0:50
Kuwait City: Hundreds of Kuwaitis protested outside the Russian embassy yesterday to condemn Moscow's support for the Syrian regime besieging rebel-held Aleppo.
Carrying banners saying "Stop crimes" and "Save Aleppo," around 2,000 demonstrators marched on the diplomatic compound housing the embassy in Kuwait City.
Speakers called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "criminal" and urged the government to expel Russia's ambassador. "Today, the Syrian people are at war with Russia... dead bodies are in the streets of Aleppo," Islamist lawmaker Jamaan Al Harbash told the crowd.
"We call on Turkey and the Gulf states to expel Russian envoys and sever diplomatic ties with Moscow," he said. Speakers also condemned Iran and Shia militias, accusing them of indiscriminate killings of civilians in Aleppo. MP Thamer Al Suwait called the war in Syria a "genocide".
Former lawmaker Ahmad Al Shuhumi condemned what he labelled "a dirty sectarian war led by Iran against the Sunni Muslims."
Protesters then marched towards the fence of the compound, shouting: "The people want the expulsion of the ambassador".
Police watched the demonstration closely but it ended peacefully.
Kuwait's parliament is set to hold a special debate on Aleppo on December 28, speaker Marzouk Al Ghanem said. Kuwait has also called on the Arab League to hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss Aleppo.
Opposition MPs urged Gulf Cooperation Council nations on Tuesday to expel Russian ambassadors over what they called Moscow's role in "genocide" in Aleppo.
Kuwaiti charities and the Kuwait Red Crescent Society have launched fund-raising campaigns for victims of the fighting in Aleppo.
During a weeks-long regime assault to retake rebel-held parts of Aleppo, the city has seen some of the worst fighting in Syria's five-year war.
More than 310,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began, and over half the population has been displaced, with millions becoming refugees.