UN chief: hostilities continue in Syria despite UN truce resolution

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has lamented Syria’s warring parties’ failure to abide by the UN Security Council resolution on a 30-day truce across the country.

“There has been no cessation of hostilities. Violence continues in eastern Ghouta and beyond – including in Afrin, parts of Idlib and into Damascus and its suburbs,” the Secretary-General said in oral report to the Security Council on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 2401 on Monday.

“Particularly in eastern Ghouta, airstrikes, shelling and ground offensives have intensified after the adoption of the resolution and claimed many hundreds of civilian lives – some even reporting the toll at more than 1,000.” Guterres noted the Turkish offensive in Afrin – pursued with armed opposition group allies — intensified with airstrikes and ground advances against PYD/YPG fighters.

“The fighting resulted in significant civilian displacement with reports of numerous casualties and damage to infrastructure,” he said.

He stated that the UNSC resolution further demands the enabling of “the safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid and services”.

“Despite some limited convoy deliveries, the provision of humanitarian aid and services has not been safe, unimpeded or sustained.” He went on to say that the resolution calls for “all parties to lift the sieges in populated areas including in eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foah and Kafraya”.

“No sieges have been lifted,” he said.

The resolution demands for the “medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded”.

“To our knowledge, not one critically sick or wounded person has yet been evacuated,” he clarified.

The UN chief appealed to all parties for the full implementation of resolution 2401 throughout the whole of Syrian territory, stressing the UN readiness to assist in any efforts to make that happen. He also underlined the need for a political solution to the seven-year civil conflict. “The dramatic situation I have described — the calamity across the country, the rivalries, the cynicism, the cruelty – highlight the need for a political solution,” he said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency