The upward trajectory of UN relations with the Syrian regime continues, despite the latter being subject to strict Western sanctions. A new common project was revealed by reports of UN involvement in funding a recovery project to renovate several neighbourhoods in the eastern city of Aleppo, in cooperation with the Syrian regime’s Ministry of Local Administration and Environment, and in conjunction with Iranian-backed soldiers and machinery of the Aleppo Defenders Corps.
The restoration project includes the Qadi Askar area, one of the largest service directorates of the Aleppo City Council. The plan includes, according to Syria Report, the rehabilitation of some parks, the maintenance of sewage systems and drinking water passing through them, the replacement of damaged seats, and the extension of a solar-powered lighting system.
The recovery plan also covers all neighbourhoods of Qadi Askar and will focus in its subsequent steps on rehabilitating basic services, repairing the sewage and drinking water networks, repairing roads, and removing part of the debris — particularly hazardous or road-blocking ones.
According to the website, government agencies, local administrative units, NGOs, and Organizations associated with the Baath Party, as well as pro-Iranian militias, are contributing to the implementation of the plan. The Aleppo Defenders Corps, a component of the Syrian Hezbollah militia, will contribute to the implementation of the plan by involving its soldiers, machinery, and engineering equipment in the removal of rubble and garbage, and the opening of roads.
Karam Shaar, director of research at the Center for Policy and Operations Research, confirmed to al-Modon that the new UN project to restore destroyed eastern Aleppo neighbourhoods sets a precedent in the Organization’s relations with Syria, “for the first time, we are discovering a direct relationship between the UN and an Iranian-backed militia.”
This precedent confirms the upward trajectory of direct relations based on the financing of reconstruction projects under the pretext of early recovery.
Shaar explains that the course of previous relations was to cooperate and coordinate with the Government of the Syrian regime or to finance people with membership ties to the Syrian regime. However, today, we are discovering relations of a new type characterized by cooperation with a loyal militia.
The slogan does not suggest the existence of a direct contract between the United Nations and Iranian militias such as the Aleppo Defenders Corps. Rather, people affiliated with these militias will be assigned to the implementation operations of the project, but the main contractor remains the Aleppo City Council. He asserts that the issue of warm relations between the UN and the Syrian regime has become clear and confirmed. There is new evidence that researchers are constantly discovering about UN projects carried out in direct coordination with the Syrian regime.
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.