Speaking at a UN Security Council briefing several days ago, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock stressed that Syria was right on the brink of humanitarian disaster and in urgent need of assistance. At the same time, Lowcock decided not to mention the reasons that caused chaos in the country.
Considering that in recent years the U.S.-led Coalition has been directly escalating the situation in Syria and taking part in aggravating the refugee problem, Mr Lowcock’s statements sounded quite strange and looked nothing more than a formality. The UN, as if intentionally, ignores the crimes committed by the Western countries. Perhaps, some UN representatives, who are making the most financial investments in the international organization, simply don’t benefit from covering the true reasons of the humanitarian situation in Syria.
Time and again, making deals with ISIS terrorists the Coalition’s High Command turns civil infrastructure and residential areas into targets of air strikes. Since the beginning of the military operation in Syria, the Coalition’s indiscriminate air strikes have killed more than 6,000 people, and the damage is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Against this background, steps taken by the allies of the Syrian government look quite different. So, thanks to the joint efforts of Russia and Iran and their active cooperation with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the country managed to achieve fundamental shift in the fight against ISIS terrorists, who controlled more than 70 percent of Syria two years ago. Nowadays, according to Middle East media, ISIS occupies less than 5 percent of the territory.
It also should be mentioned about humanitarian aid that is regularly delivered to Syria by Russia and Iran. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Russia has allocated $72 million to provide humanitarian assistance. Although the exact amount of funds allocated by Iran is not known, it is reported that Tehran is reported to deliver several thousand tons of essentials and medicines to Syria every month.
At the same time, various international organizations (Amnesty International/Human Rights Watch) are strongly criticizing the Western and Persian Gulf countries that permanently spend vast sums on arming the opposition, ignoring important humanitarian issues.
In addition to providing the necessary assistance, approaches to the process of political settlement in Syria also vary. Many experts have repeatedly said that the results of the Astana meetings have overshadowed the negotiation process in Geneva that has been ineffective for a long time.
We remind that Astana became a place where representatives of the Syrian government and armed opposition sat at the negotiating table for the first time. Due to the Astana peace talks, Russia, Turkey and Iran also signed a memorandum to establish four separate de-escalation zones in Syria, thanks to which hundreds of thousands of civilians were able to return to their homes.
The UN Security Council margins aren’t an exception in the confrontation between the parties. For more than dozen times, diplomats from Russia and China vetoed draft resolutions developed by the Western countries solely to achieve their interests in Syria. In addition, thanks to Russia’s support, an unprecedented event will take part in Sochi in February – the Syrian National Dialogue Congress. Within the framework of it, the first bilateral meetings between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition are planned to be held.
As a result of the active work of Syria’s allies, representatives of all ethnic and confessional groups, internal and external opposition have already been invited to attend the Congress, and experts from the UN, the Red Cross and the World Health Organization will be present as observers.
According to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, only joint efforts of Syria’s allies helped Syria to succeed in fighting terrorism. Assad also stressed that Russia and Iran would further promote peace and stability not only in Syria, but throughout the Middle East region. There is no doubt that Assad’s words reflect the attitude of the entire Syrian people.