Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has accused Turkey of delivering weapons to the terrorists in the Arab country in convoys made to look as if they are carrying humanitarian aid.
Speaking at a UN Security Council session on Friday, Bashar al-Ja’afari also said Turkey exploited humanitarian corridors as transit routes for thousands of foreign-backed militants and provided weapons to the terrorists.
Ja’fari made the remarks in reaction to a monthly UN report on humanitarian access in Syria, which was presented by the world body’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Stephen O’Brien.
The UN official claimed that the Syrian government, as well as militant groups, deliberately interfere with and restrict aid deliveries in the Arab country.
Ja’fari disputed O’Brien’s accusation, emphasizing that Damascus allows the delivery of aid “except for things that [would] be handed to terrorists.”
Of the 26 requests for humanitarian convoys in May, the Syrian ambassador said, Damascus approved 19, and the UN only sent three.
“Cooperation is not a one-way street, the UN also has to cooperate with the Syrian government,” he added.
Syrian men carry aid parcels provided by the UN World Food Programme and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Houla, Homs Province, Syria, May 25, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
The Syrian ambassador said a number of countries, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, exploit the needs and sufferings of the Syrian people for political gains.
He said the support of some countries for terrorism became known to everyone recently when they blocked a Russian bid to blacklist certain terrorist groups.
On May 11, Britain, the United States, France and Ukraine blocked a Russian proposal at the UN to blacklist Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham groups for links to Daesh terrorists and al-Qaeda militants.
Some countries claim to care for human rights and the Syrian people, but their actions on the ground contradict their words, Ja’afari said.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian crisis.
Turkey is known among the main supporters of the militant groups operating in Syria, with reports saying that Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri elements there and facilitates their safe passage into the violence-wracked state. Turkey denies the accusations.