US President Barack Obama on Friday called for an "impartial international observer force" of an evacuation process for civilians to be present on the ground in Aleppo.â€¨
"There has to be full access for humanitarian aid and beyond that, there needs to be a broader cease-fire that can serve as the basis for a political rather than a military solution," Obama said in his last year-end briefing as president.â€¨Obama said the US would push for these goals at the UN Security Council, in spite of Russia's repeated attempts to block these actions from taking place.
â€¨"The Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian allies" are responsible for "deliberate" and "savage assaults" on civilians in Aleppo, he said.â€¨On the matter of US accusations of Russia's alleged hackings during the 2016 presidential elections, he hoped president-elect Donald Trump would work to ensure that "we don't have a potential foreign influence in our election process."
His comments came a day after announcing that the US would "take action" in response to cyber breaches of the emails and archives of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, the former chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.â€¨Obama said that the US would use offensive capabilities it had against Russia, some of which will be "directly received by the Russians and not publicized."
"At a point in time where we've taken certain actions that we can divulge publicly, we will do so," he added.â€¨This would aim to send a "clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you," warned Obama.â€¨
The reason why these cyber breaches stopped, said Obama, was after a face-to-face conversation in September he had with President Vladimir Putin, during which he told the Russian leader to "cut it out."