Canada's Defence Minister is calling on Syria's Assad regime and Russia to end the "horrific crisis" taking place in Aleppo as the last key opposition stronghold falls to Damascus.
"At the end, whether it's Russia or Assad, [they] really need to take a strong look at themselves and the atrocities that are being committed and the humanitarian crisis that's been created. At the end of the day, the human suffering is unimaginable," Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Tuesday.
For weeks, Canada has been trying to help mobilize the United Nations General Assembly to hold a formal plenary session and "signal the need to take action" on Syria.
Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion echoed his cabinet colleague's frustration, urging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime to show "a minimum of humanity" as the casualties mount.
"We are condemning a situation where civilians are the victims of atrocities. We are asking the Assad regime … to allow humanitarian support for the civilians," he told reporters Tuesday.
Mr. Dion called on the Syrian President to focus on rooting out the self-styled "Islamic State" jihadis instead of going after opponents who sought an end to decades of his rule and whose fight against the government turned into an insurgency.
"It's time for the Assad regime to show half of the same determination they had to fight opponents of the regime … to fight Daesh," Canada's Foreign Minister said. Daesh is another term for Islamic State jihadis.
Rebel resistance in Syria's Aleppo ended Tuesday after years of fighting and months of bitter siege and bombardment that culminated in a bloody collapse of their defences this week, as insurgents agreed to withdraw in a ceasefire.
The long-running Syrian civil war has forced 3.73 million to flee the country, according to the United Nations.
However, Canada has no plans to increase its planned intake of Syrian refugees.
Immigration Minister John McCallum said Canada is on track to bring in 25,000 government-sponsored refugees by the end of 2016. Overall, including privately sponsored refugees, Canada has admitted about 34,000 refugees from Syria over the past 12 months.
"We certainly stepped up to the plate already on Syrian refugees," Mr. McCallum said. "We understand this is one of the worst refugee crises that the world has seen in decades and doesn't show any signs of solving itself."
In a recent statement, the Trudeau government said it will keep trying to mobilize international opinion.
"Canada will continue to rally the international community to support an end to the attacks, a cessation of hostilities, an end to all besiegements, full respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law, and the need for full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access," the Canadian government said Dec. 1.
Rebel officials said fighting would end on Tuesday evening and insurgents and the civilians who have been trapped in the tiny pocket of territory they hold in Aleppo would leave the city for opposition-held areas of the countryside to the west.
News of the deal, confirmed by Russia's U.N. envoy, came after the United Nations voiced deep concern about reports it had received of Syrian soldiers and allied Iraqi fighters summarily shooting 82 people dead in recaptured east Aleppo districts.
With files from Reuters