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Syria Today – Quake-Hit Areas Under Dire Conditions; Iran FM Calls for Reconstruction

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – Quake-Hit Areas Under Dire Conditions; Iran FM Calls for Reconstruction

A report by the UK Telegraph sheds light on the severe conditions prevailing in northwest Syria, as the region deals with the aftermath of a destructive earthquake and continues to face ongoing conflict. Meanwhile, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Minister, emphasized the importance of global assistance in the process of reconstructing Syria, emphasizing the need to facilitate the return of displaced individuals to their homes.

Time is running out for quake-hit, war-ravaged northwest Syria

The UK Telegraph published a report highlighting the dire situation in northwest Syria, which is grappling with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and ongoing conflict. 

The authors describe their visit to Aqrabat Hospital, where they led a surgical mission to provide specialized care to survivors. 

The region, sustained by civil society organizations and NGOs, is home to millions of people heavily reliant on humanitarian aid. The northwest’s precarious situation is exacerbated by the erosion of its protection as several countries show willingness to normalize relations with the Assad regime. 

The impending Turkish elections further raise concerns about the fate of Syrian refugees and the security dynamics in the region. 

The article emphasizes the importance of the UK’s continued support for Syria and suggests diversifying aid to include locally-led humanitarian organizations. It also underscores the vulnerability of healthcare workers and the need to protect open societies and human rights. 

The authors urge the UK to form a coalition of sympathetic states and organizations to prevent the abandonment of northwest Syria and advocate for a future political settlement that guarantees security, prevents compulsory refugee returns, and ensures unconditional humanitarian access.

Colleagues in northwest Syria have welcomed the United States and United Kingdom’s stated opposition to the normalization of Assad, but question why the US Caesar Act and UK and EU sanctions regimes have not been used to deter those extending the hand of friendship. 

As the Turkish election heads towards a likely run-off, the stakes for northwest Syria could not be higher. Both Presidential candidates have said that Syrian refugees will be returned and suggested that the nature of the Turkish security presence in the enclave could change. 

The article explained that cuts to the UK Development budget are being felt in the northwest. Time and again I heard from those I met that the UK was a valued friend but they were increasingly forced to do more with less in the face of soaring demand. 

Criticism is growing of the Western-led, expeditionary model of humanitarian aid. When making funding decisions, the UK should look beyond the big UN agencies and established International NGOs and diversify to give greater support to locally-led humanitarian organizations. 

Local healthcare and humanitarian workers are also uniquely positioned to bear witness to crimes against humanity and have done so at critical junctures of the Syrian conflict, including the chemical weapons attack on eastern Ghouta in 2013 and the siege of eastern Aleppo in 2016.

Iranian FM urges int’l support for Syria’s reconstruction

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stressed on Sunday the necessity of international support for Syria’s reconstruction, saying it is essential to help the country’s displaced people return to their homes.

  Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks during a meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen in Tehran, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

They also discussed the latest regional and international developments with regard to Syria, including the recent quadrilateral meeting in Moscow on working out a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the recent visit by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Damascus, saying the trip was an indication that Syria has reached a stage of lasting security.

The minister also expressed gratitude to Pedersen for his work to promote peace and stability in Syria, while Pedersen commended Iran for its counterterrorism efforts and contributions to Syria’s security and regional stability, according to the statement.

Opposition calls for holding Assad accountable for crimes in Syria

Head of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Badr Jamous, stressed that it is important to activate the principle of holding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime accountable for all its crimes against the Syrians, North Press reported.

This came during an online event “Accountability in Syria” sponsored by the EU, Turkey, Germany, the US, the UK, Netherlands, France, and Canada.

“There can be no sustainable peace in Syria without holding those responsible for these crimes accountable,” the HNC said, in a tweet, citing Jamous as saying.

Jamous urged the international community to achieve accountability and release detainees and the forcibly disappeared.

In addition, the SNC president affirmed the importance of implementing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2254 to pave the way for a new democratic Syria where human rights are guaranteed.

Syria participates in the AL meeting of representatives and senior officials kicks off in Jeddah

For the third consecutive day of the preparatory meetings for the Arab Summit, a meeting of representatives and senior officials, with the participation of Syria’s delegation chaired by Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister Ayman Sousan, started, on Tuesday, SANA reported.

Algerian Ambassador in Cairo, Permanent Representative in the League of Arab States, Hamid Chabeira said, in a speech, “we again welcome the presence of Syrian delegation at these meetings,” stressing the need for unifying ranks and solidarity among the Arab countries.

Undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry for International Affairs, Abdul Rahman al-Rasi, welcomed the Syrian delegation participating in the meeting, wishing them success.

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