Syria says Security Council politicizing humanitarian situation
The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations says the sole goal of some Security Council members to raise the issue of humanitarian situation in Syria is to put pressure on Damascus and weaken its position before the next round of peace talks.
“Some members of the Security Council want to violate Syrian sovereignty and deny the role the Syrian government plays” in the fight against Daesh and in delivering aid to civilians trapped in militant-held areas, Bashar al-Ja’afari said in a statement following a Security Council session on Friday, the official SANA news agency reported.
Those Security Council member states want to “politicize the humanitarian situation in Syria, instead of stopping the terrorist tide,” he added.
The Syrian envoy further rejected claims by some members that Damascus is hindering the delivery of aid to besieged areas under terrorists’ control, adding that the Syrian government has pledged full cooperation with the UN and the Red Cross to deliver aid to all civilians “without any discrimination,” including those in hard-to-reach areas.
He went on to say that dealing with the humanitarian situation in Syria must be carried out through the Syrian government, and expressed his regret that some influential members of the council are playing a pivotal role in worsening the humanitarian situation in the Middle Eastern country.
“If it were up to some Security Council members, they would have liked to airdrop weapons, not food or humanitarian aid,” Ja’afari added.
His comments came after the council agreed in a closed-door session to formally request the Damascus government to allow airdropping food to terrorist-held areas.
“Airdrops are costly, complex and risky, but we all agree now that they are the last resort,” British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said after the Friday session.
Members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent deliver aid boxes to the militant-held town of Douma near the Syrian capital on May 26, 2016. (AFP)
Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says Syria has agreed to allow access for ground convoys to deliver aid to 12 besieged areas during the holy month of Ramadan later this month.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of some 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
A ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia went into effect on February 27 in Syria, but it does not apply to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorists.
The Syrian army has vowed to press ahead with its military operations to drive terrorists out of their major positions.