(Adds comments from diplomatic source, detail)
By John Irish
PARIS Nov 29 French foreign affairs minister
Jean-Marc Ayrault called on Tuesday for an immediate United
Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in the
Syrian city of Aleppo, which has been devastated by fighting.
"More than ever before, we need to urgently put in place
means to end the hostilities and to allow humanitarian aid to
get through unhindered," Ayrault said in a statement.
A French diplomatic source added that Ayrault and his German
counterpart would discuss Aleppo with Russian foreign minister
Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a meeting in Minsk on Tuesday,
at which leading European foreign ministers will discuss plans
for implementing a ceasefire agreement for eastern Ukraine.
The Syrian army and its allies announced the capture of a
large swathe of eastern Aleppo from rebels on Monday in an
accelerating attack that threatens to crush the opposition in
its most important urban stronghold.
Capturing eastern Aleppo would be the biggest victory for
President Bashar al-Assad since the start of the uprising
against him in 2011, restoring his control over the whole city
apart from a Kurdish-held area that has not fought against him.
For Assad, taking back Aleppo would shore up his grip over
the main population centres of western Syria where he and his
allies have focused their firepower while much of the rest of
the country remains outside their control.
France, a key backer of the Syrian opposition, is due to
convene a meeting of countries opposed to Assad, including the
United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, in December.
(Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Michel