UNITED NATIONS - The head of the UN observer mission in Syria on Monday said he was seriously worried about the escalating violence in the country, above all the situation in the besieged city of Aleppo.

"I am extremely concerned about the continued violence in Syria, in particular the significant deterioration in Aleppo and its impact on the civilian population," Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, interim head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, said in a statement.

"I urge the parties to protect civilians and respect their obligations under international humanitarian law," he said. "Civilians must not be subjected to shelling and use of heavy weapons."

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