Syria calls on UN to ‘shoul­der its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties’

Tehran Times - - WORLD IN FOCUS -

Syria has called on the United Na­tions to halt the United States led-coali­tion’s at­tacks on civil­ians af­ter over a dozen peo­ple are killed in sep­a­rate airstrikes across the coun­try.

In a let­ter sent to the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral An­tónio Guter­res and the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil chair­man on Sun­day, the Syr­ian For­eign and Ex­pa­tri­ates Min­istry voiced its se­vere con­dem­na­tion of the coali­tion’s ac­tions against civil­ians.

In the let­ter, Syria slammed the many par­ties who claim to care for the rule of law and hu­man rights but turn a blind eye to the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by the coali­tion in the prov­inces of Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr.

It also called on the UNSC (United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil) to “shoul­der its main re­spon­si­bil­ity of pre­serv­ing in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity and take im­me­di­ate ac­tion to stop the bru­tal crimes com­mit­ted by the il­le­gal coali­tion against the in­no­cent civil­ians and pre­vent more crimes from hap­pen­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to Syria’s of­fi­cial news agency SANA on Sun­day, at least 10 civil­ians lost their lives when the U.S.-led mil­i­tary air­craft bom­barded al-Duwaiji vil­lage in the Tal Shaer district of Dayr al-Zawr Prov­ince near the bor­der with Iraq.

At least six peo­ple also lost their lives when a res­i­den­tial area of al-Da’ij vil­lage in the Hasakah Prov­ince was hit by U.S.-led fighter jets.

The U.S.-led coali­tion has been con­duct­ing airstrikes against what are said to be the Is­lamic State in Iraq and the Le­vant (ISIL/ Daesh) tar­gets in­side Syria since Septem­ber 2014 with­out any au­tho­riza­tion from the Da­m­as­cus govern­ment or a UN man­date.

The mil­i­tary al­liance has re­peat­edly been ac­cused of tar­get­ing and killing civil­ians. It has also been largely in­ca­pable of achiev­ing its de­clared goal of de­stroy­ing ISIL.

Is­rael will con­tinue bomb­ing Syria

The Is­raeli regime has sig­naled that Tel Aviv would con­tinue with mil­i­tary strikes across the Syr­ian bor­der to thwart any al- leged en­croach­ment by Ira­nian-al­lied forces, in­clud­ing the Le­banese re­sis­tance move­ment Hezbol­lah, even by vi­o­lat­ing a de-es­ca­la­tion zone des­ig­nated by Rus­sia and the U.S. in the south­west of the coun­try.

Back on July 7, Rus­sia, the U.S. and Jor­dan agreed to back a cease­fire in south­west­ern Syria and to es­tab­lish a de-es­ca­la­tion zone in the Syr­ian prov­inces of Dara’a, Suwayda and Quneitra, which bor­ders the Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied Golan Heights. The truce came into force two days later and proved to be help­ful in re­duc­ing fight­ing in the des­ig­nated area.

Is­rael has al­ready said that it re­fuses to abide by the July 7 truce deal. Later in the month, the regime’s Min­is­ter of Mil­i­tary Af­fairs Avig­dor Liber­man af­firmed that “Is­rael re­serves its com­plete free­dom of ac­tion, re­gard­less of any un­der­stand­ings or de­vel­op­ments” in the re­gion.

How­ever, Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, in his tele­vised re­marks open­ing Is­rael’s weekly cab­i­net meet­ing on Sun­day, did not elab­o­rate on the new Wash­ing­ton-Moscow ar­range­ment for Syria.

Fur­ther­more, Is­rael’s Min­is­ter for Re­gional Co­op­er­a­tion Tzachi Hanegbi told re­porters af­ter the meet­ing that the truce deal “does not meet Is­rael’s un­equiv­o­cal de­mand that there will not be de­vel­op­ments that bring the forces of Hezbol­lah or Iran to the Is­rael-Syria bor­der in the north.”

Else­where in his com­ments, the Is­raeli min­is­ter said that Tel Aviv had “set red lines” and that it would stand “firm” on them, al­lud­ing to the Is­raeli mil­i­tary strikes in Syria, car­ried out against sus­pected Hezbol­lah arms de­pots or in re­tal­i­a­tion for at­tacks launched from the Syr­ian-con­trolled Golan.

Tel Aviv has, on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, tar­geted the ter­ri­tory in­side Syria, of­ten claiming that it strikes con­voys head­ing for Hezbol­lah fight­ers. In the lat­est in­ci­dent, Is­rael an­nounced on Satur­day that its mil­i­tary, us­ing a Pa­triot mis­sile, had in­ter­cepted and shot down an un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle (UAV) pur­port­edly op­er­ated by the Syr­ian Air Force in the Golan Heights, adding that it was check­ing whether the air­craft had any con­nec­tion “to Iran and Hezbol­lah.”

The Hezbol­lah fight­ers have been help­ing the Syr­ian mil­i­tary in its bat­tle against Fateh al-Sham (al-Nusra Front/Jab­hat al-Nusra) and ISIL, two prom­i­nent Tak­firi ter­ror­ist groups op­er­at­ing in the Mid­dle East­ern coun­try.

Back in April 2015, Ne­tanyahu of­fi­cially ad­mit­ted for the first time that the regime’s mil­i­tary had con­ducted strikes in the Syr­ian ter­ri­tory.

Is­rael seized the Golan Heights from Syria af­ter the 1967 Six-Day War and later oc­cu­pied it in a move that has never been rec­og­nized by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. The regime has built dozens of set­tle­ments in the area ever since and has used the re­gion to carry out a num­ber of mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions against the Syr­ian govern­ment.

Syria says the raids aim to boost the Tak­firi mil­i­tant groups fight­ing against the Syr­ian govern­ment forces. Ear­lier this month, Da­m­as­cus called on the United Na­tions to take im­me­di­ate ac­tion against Is­rael fol­low­ing its airstrike on a cop­per fac­tory in the town of Has­sia in Homs prov­ince.

On sev­eral oc­ca­sions, the Syr­ian army has con­fis­cated Is­raeli-made arms and mil­i­tary equip­ment from mil­i­tants fight­ing pro-Da­m­as­cus forces. Is­rael has also been pro­vid­ing med­i­cal treat­ment to the ex­trem­ist mil­i­tants wounded in Syria.

Tak­firi groups such as ISIL and al-Nusra have never at­tacked Is­rael de­spite op­er­at­ing close to Syria’s bor­ders with the oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries over the past cou­ple of years.

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