UN Syria Resolution Divorced From Reality

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to demand an immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria, humanitarian aid access throughout the country and an end to all sieges, including in Aleppo
Gholamhossein Dehqani   Gholamhossein Dehqani

Iran's envoy to the United Nations denounced a Canadian-drafted resolution on Syria passed by the UN General Assembly on Friday, saying it is unilateral and out of touch with reality.

"The draft resolution on the Syrian Arab Republic, placed before us today as L.39, is a one-sided document and divorced from the reality on the ground in Syria," Tasnim News Agency quoted Gholamhossein Dehqani as telling the UN assembly's meeting.

The assembly voted 122 to 13 to demand an immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria, humanitarian aid access throughout the country and an end to all sieges, including in Aleppo.

Thirty-six countries abstained from voting on the resolution related to the nearly six-year-old Syrian conflict, Reuters reported. General Assembly resolutions are non-binding but can carry political weight.

"It is evident that this crisis is only the effect and the draft is totally silent on its root cause. It is an established fact that terrorism and violent extremism are the root causes of the disaster, and it is the very issue that should be first and foremost addressed by the international community," Dehqani said.

"Militants and terrorists that are allowed into Syria, mostly through lax borders, and are supported by some foreign countries, are responsible for the very difficult situation and the ongoing humanitarian disaster."

The Syrian Army pressed an offensive in Aleppo on Friday with ground fighting and airstrikes in an operation to retake all of the city's besieged militant-held east, which would bring victory in the civil war closer for President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran, along with Russia, has been supporting the Syrian president in his country's over five-year-old war, while Persian Gulf Arab states, Turkey and western powers are backing various militant factions seeking to dislodge him by supplying weapons and intelligence.

Critics believe Canada tabled the resolution on behalf of countries backing the militants fighting the Syrian government, because the militants are facing defeat.

  No U-Turn 

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters on Thursday of the resolution, "To expect that it is going to produce some kind of a dramatic U-turn in the situation in Syria is unrealistic."

The resolution asks the UN secretary-general to report in 45 days on the implementation of the resolution and with recommendations "on ways and means to protect civilians".

Canadian UN Ambassador Marc-Andre Blanchard acknowledged that the resolution was not a solution to the conflict, but an important statement.

"It is a reminder that above all else the lives of the Syrian people should be our priority. They are our priority and the world will not stay silent while they suffer without assistance," he said before the vote.

Half of Syria's 22 million people have been uprooted and more than 400,000 killed so far.

Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said Syria was fighting a war on terrorism "on behalf of the entire world."

He said unilateral sanctions imposed on Syria "affect in the first place the Syrian citizens and impede the ability of the Syrian government to respond to the daily needs of Syrian citizens, particularly those who have been disadvantaged as a result of the terrorist war imposed on my country Syria".

Churkin also slammed unilateral sanctions imposed on Syria.

"You are slowly asphyxiating the population you ardently claim to care about," he said on Friday.

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