New York, SANA – Syria stressed that any measures that might be taken to stop the humanitarian suffering of needy Syrians would be patchy and insufficient as long as the relevant counterterrorism resolutions of the UN Security Council are not yet put into effect.
This Syrian point was made clear by the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari on Thursday as he was addressing a Security Council session dedicated to discuss reports on the humanitarian situation in Syria.
He cited particularly resolutions no. 2170, 2178 and 2199, stressing that those should be enforced in full
coordination and cooperation with the Syrian government.
Fighting terrorism, al-Jaafari said, demands putting an end to the practices of the “Turkish-Qatari-Saudi-Israeli alliance” which is providing support, funds and arms to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra, Free Army and other terrorist organizations.
Acknowledgement of this support was made by the U.S. retired General Wesley Clark, a former supreme commander of NATO, who said that ISIS-also known as IS- has emerged relying on funding by close friends and allies of the US, according to al-Jaafari.
He dismissed any talk of ameliorating the humanitarian situation in Syria with the armament and training of terrorists, under the name “moderate opposition”, still uncurbed.
Syria’s UN Ambassador commented on statements made by the U.S. Ambassador feeling displeased with, what she said, the Syrian armed forces targeting terrorists with “barrel bombs”.
Regardless of the fact that there is no such thing as “barrel bombs” in military parlance, what is noteworthy and also odd, al-Jaafari said, is to have the U.S. ambassador complaining while her very country is targeting what “they call terrorists” with cruise missiles, smart bombs and the most lethal weapons in the world.
He reiterated that tackling the humanitarian situation in Syria needs first and foremost diagnosing the main cause of the problem, pinpointing the end to be achieved, following the relevant legal rules and finally setting up the mechanisms according to which work should be done.
“It’s high time that those, who have long been denied, acknowledge that the main cause that led to a humanitarian crisis emerging in a number of Syrian areas is the rise and spread of foreign-backed terrorism,” said al-Jaafari.
He elaborated on that issue by providing proofs that only the areas where terrorist organizations entered had a humanitarian situation arising, citing Aleppo city, which he said had remained stable and trouble-free for over a year and a half after the outset of the crisis before “some countries gave orders to their cross-border multinational terrorist groups to enter the city and use the civilians as human shields.”
As for the end, al-Jaafari questioned that it is one of improving the humanitarian situation in Syria, wondering is it that or “one of exploiting the suffering and pains of the Syrians as a means to pressure the Syrian government?”
In case it was indeed the former, he said, then work should focus on addressing the issue of terrorism and having an immediate lift of the unilateral coercive measures and sanctions that have been imposed on the Syrian people.
He dismissed the claims of some countries that they care for the Syrian people, reminding that some of those measures which are imposed by the EU include the Syrian civil aviation sector as well as the ministers of humanitarian relief, electricity and national reconciliation.
Al-Jaafari also demanded a halt to the politicization of the humanitarian issue in Syria, a conduct he said appears evident in various reports put forth by the UN General Secretariat itself.
Some of those reports, he added, claimed that some areas are being besieged by the Syrian government and denied access to aid, wondering “how are these areas besieged while at the same time arms and ammunition continue to flow in…and are used to launch rocket attacks randomly and carry out suicide bombings in safe neighborhoods?”
It is this which has so far claimed the lives of 17186 Syrian civilians, said al-Jaafari, adding that those included 1867 children.
He made it clear in his speech that what the Syrian Arab army is doing is fighting terrorism and protecting civilians, and that it is doing so in accordance with the international conventions.
He moved on to speak about the necessary legal rules which should be the basis for humanitarian work, saying “This necessitates that we agree to the need to work according to the UN guiding principles of humanitarian aid in emergency situations established in the General Assembly resolution 46/182, on top being respecting the countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Coming to the work mechanisms, al-Jaafari said that the inadequacies that have been seen in the aid delivery method should be redressed by means of boosting cooperation and coordination with the Syrian government.
This, he added, will ensure that aid is delivered to the actual beneficiaries of civilians in all the Syrian areas indiscriminately and not fall in the hands of the terrorist groups in the process, which have happened in various areas, the latest of which was when ISIS took hold of an aid shipment delivered by the World Food Program across the Turkish border early this month.
With this in mind, focus should be placed on delivering aid from inside the Syrian territories, al-Jaafari said.
While aid was successfully delivered to 3.4 million beneficiaries during last month only by the efforts of the government and thousands of volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, only 5 % of beneficiaries had access to aid delivered across the border, according to al-Jaafari.
This further stresses the inefficiency of the measures taken by the UN to the effect of implementing the relevant resolutions 2165 and 2191, he said.
Another issue of great importance which the Syria Representative to the UN said needs to be addressed seriously is the shortage in funds, pointing out that while the Syrian government bears the greatest burden of the scale of aid distributed in Syria, the UN humanitarian response plan was financed by only 48 % in 2014.
He went on saying that while it was the terrorist groups’ crimes which have driven the Syrians out of their home areas and turned them into displaced or refugees who had camps opened for them in neighboring countries, those same Syrians are being used as cards to exert political pressure on the government and justify intervention plots.
Those who really want to help the Syrian refugees, al-Jaafari said, must work first of all on helping them return home in cooperation with the Syrian government, which has repeatedly stressed its readiness to secure all the basic needs for them.
Al-Jaafari’s blame on the terrorists for the current humanitarian situation was clearly echoed by Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov who stressed that the terrorist groups in Syria are the major source of all the impediments standing in the way of the humanitarian organizations operating in the country.
As he expressed “deep” concern about the situation of civilians in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces which are under ISIS control and denied any access to aid, Safronkov called on all the UN bodies working in the humanitarian and relief fields to constructively cooperate with the Syrian government in order to reach solutions for the delivery problems.
For his part, China’s UN Deputy Permanent Representative Wang Min, who presided over the Security Council session, said the aid delivery is still faced with many challenges, citing the continued “conflict”, lack of communication channels and the insufficient funding.
The terrorist groups in Syria continue to kill civilians barbarically, which is what is hindering the aid delivery and worsening the humanitarian situation, he said.
He called for implementing the Security Council’s relevant resolutions to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria and continued support by the international community on the basis of respecting Syria’s sovereignty.