A man searches his bombed home in Aleppo, Syria
A man searches his bombed home in Aleppo, SyriaReuters

Top officials in the European Union (EU) said on Saturday that attacks on civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo amount to a "breach of international humanitarian law".

"The indiscriminate suffering being caused among innocent civilians... is an unacceptable breach of international humanitarian law," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and humanitarian commissioner Christos Stylianides said in a statement quoted by AFP.

They denounced the "fire-bombing and shelling" as well as the "deliberate targeting" of a humanitarian convoy last week and the "cutting off of water supplies to the majority of civilians still in the city."

The aid convoy was hit by an airstrike that American officials have said was carried out by Russian planes backing President Bashar Al-Assad's regime. Russia denies the claims.

UN officials say nearly two million civilians were left without water in the devastated northern city after regime bombardment damaged a pumping station and rebels shut down another in retaliation.

In their statement dated, Mogherini and Stylianides called the suffering caused by the attacks "an affront" to the whole world.

"It risks to take us ever further from a negotiated settlement of the conflict, which remains the only way of bringing it to an end," they added.

The pair called on those with influence on the regime and those dealing with the armed opposition "to apply the maximum pressure to cease the attacks."

They also urged them to work to "allow unhindered and continuous humanitarian access to those in need, and resume political negotiations under the auspices of the UN in Geneva as swiftly as possible."

A truce deal negotiated between Moscow and Washington brought a few days of respite in Aleppo earlier this month, but no humanitarian aid before its total collapse this week.

On Thursday night, several days after the collapse of the ceasefire, the Syrian army announced the launch of a new offensive to retake the rebel-held east of Aleppo, warning residents to keep away from posts held by anti-regime fighters.

AFP contributed to this report.