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Moscow Calls on UN to Clarify its Activities in Areas Outside Damascus Control

Russia's representative to the United Nations expressed concerns about what he perceives as efforts by the UN to bypass the Damascus, according to pro-government Athr Press
Moscow Calls on UN to Clarify its Activities in Areas Outside Damascus Control

Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, confirmed that the United Nations has not yet informed Damascus of the specifics regarding the activities of its humanitarian workers operating within Syrian territories beyond Damascus’ control.

He highlighted the ongoing challenge of delivering humanitarian aid to Idleb and other regions in northern Syria due to limitations at the contact lines. During a session of the UN Security Council on Tuesday, he stated, “It appears that the Syrian government has not received detailed information regarding the operations of UN humanitarian workers in the uncontrolled northwest areas of the country, nor have reports been provided for review.”

Nebenzia expressed concerns about what he perceives as efforts by the United Nations to bypass the Damascus government despite the absence of an extension of the Security Council resolution on the cross-border mechanism. He emphasized the Syrian government’s entitlement to comprehensive reports on the activities of humanitarian workers, particularly in Idleb.

He urged the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) “not to evade its responsibilities and to fully adhere to its mandate outlined in UN General Assembly resolution 46/182, which includes coordinating humanitarian activities in any part of Syria in cooperation with the Damascus government.”

During his speech, Nebenzia also criticized what he described as Washington’s “double standards” in Syria. He asserted, “Washington’s inconsistency is evident in its portrayal of terrorists in Syria and its framing of the Israeli operation in Gaza as counterterrorism.” He emphasized that US intervention in Syria, under the pretext of combating “terrorism,” continues to have a destabilizing impact.

Nebenzia highlighted Washington’s alleged attempt to downplay the activities of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, a group listed as a terrorist organization by the Security Council, which controls Idleb. He criticized Washington for condemning Damascus and its allies for confronting these groups.

On February 12, Damascus’ permanent ambassador to the United Nations, Qusai al-Dahhak, announced via the Xplatform that he had briefed the United Nations Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, on the extension of the permit allowing the United Nations to transport humanitarian aid into northwestern Syria. This extension covers the Bab al-Salama and al-Ra’i border crossings with Turkey for an additional three months, until May 13.

Nebenzia had previously accused the UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, David Cardin, of establishing close ties with armed factions in Idleb. He remarked, “Syrian armed groups in Idleb have developed what seems to be a productive collaboration with Mr. David Cardin, the UN Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, who happens to be of British nationality.”

The issue of the crossings in northern Syria outside Damascus’ control remains a subject of contention within UN circles, with calls for their opening and the uncoordinated entry of aid through them.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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