On 25 June, the UN Security Council held a regular meeting on the situation in the Idlib zone. Representatives of Russia, France, Germany, USA, Peru, Great Britain, Cote d’Ivoire, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Poland, Equatorial Guinea and Syria spoke at the meeting.
In addition, Major General A. Bakin, Head of the Russian Reconciliation Centre in Syria, made a statement by video link.
Representatives of Western countries continued to accuse Russia and Syria of “disproportionality” of their actions, as a result of which a large number of civilians are allegedly dying in the Idlib zone, as well as hospitals are being shelled.
The Russian side once again drew the attention of the international community to the fact that the activities of the Syrian armed forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces in Idlib are a response to the ongoing attacks by insurgents on the positions of government troops and the shelling of towns and villages in the provinces of Hama and Latakia.
The insurgents use various types of weapons, much of which are supplied to them by foreign sponsors of terrorism. They use tanks, UAVs, machine-gun pickups, suicide bombers and SVBIEDs to attack government positions.
Major-General Bakin noted that “in June 2019, 249 attacks carried out by insurgents were recorded in the Idlib zone. Peaceful people are dying under the fire of terrorists. Since April, 120 people have been killed and 259 injured as a result of the shelling by insurgents”.
Accusing Russia and Syria of indiscriminate attacks on Idlib, UK representative to the UN Karen Pierce referred to the data received from the Syrian-American medical community. Permanent Representative of Syria Bashar al-Jaafari replied that the Community does not have official permission to carry out any activities in the Syrian Arab Republic and often demonstrates poor knowledge of the provisions of international law.
The Permanent Representative of Russia, Vassily Nebenzya, stressed that Western governments continue to draw conclusions about the state of affairs in the Idlib zone on the basis of data received from unverified sources. These are often the media and organizations that support groups operating in north-western Syria, such as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and others. They have been recognized as terrorists all over the world.
At the end of the meeting, Bashar al-Jaafari drew the attention of the Security Council to the fact that the Governments of countries supporting terrorists in Syria, including financially, deliberately avoided discussing issues that could shed light on those illegal activities. In his view, the resolution of most of the problems would be more successful if all States adhered to the principles of neutrality and objectivity and formed an opinion on the situation in Syria on the basis of facts. Al-Jaafari stressed that the Syrian Government cannot and will not stand idly by while terrorists attack civilians; it will protect its citizens and respond to insurgents’ attacks.
At the moment, the main efforts of Syria and Russia are aimed at helping people to return to peaceful life by restoring everything that was destroyed by jihadists and other forces that supported them throughout the Syrian conflict. Those who want to help the Syrian people must respect the sovereignty of the Republic and its territorial integrity, lift the illegal sanctions and withdraw the forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Turkey, which are there without the consent of the current Government.
Pamela Spenser, independent journalist