Call for UNSC to Help Guarantee Syria Truce

Ardeshir NourianArdeshir Nourian

The UN Security Council, as the body responsible for preserving world peace, should play a bigger role in guaranteeing the recent nationwide truce in Syria and pressure anti-government armed groups to uphold their end of the bargain, a lawmaker said.

Ardeshir Nourian added that the presence of numerous militant groups in the battlefields in Syria has made violations of ceasefires and human rights probable.

"This is while colonial powers try to give UNSC the role of a body that is just aware [of developments], rather than an active player [in developments]," the parliamentarian, who is a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA on Wednesday.

The nearly six-year-old Syria conflict, which pits the Syrian Army against foreign-backed militants wishing to bring down the government, has topped the list of biggest calamities in the 21st century by leaving hundreds of thousands dead and triggering a major refugee crisis.

The recent truce, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey, and came into effect on Dec. 30, has mostly held but did not halt fighting completely as sporadic shootings are reported from across the country.

Russia lends its airpower to the anti-terror drive in Syria and Tehran provides Syrian troops with advisory services, while the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the main arms suppliers to militants.

The Syrian government and its opponents accuse each other of being responsible for violations.

The truce covers seven armed groups that are estimated to possess the bulk of the anti-government manpower with more than 60,000 fighters, and does not include Jabhat al-Nusra (recently rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) and the self-styled Islamic State terrorist groups.

The cessation of hostilities came after top diplomats from Russia, Iran and Turkey announced after a December 20 meeting in Moscow that they were ready to guarantee a peace deal. The trio adopted a trilateral declaration setting out principles that any agreement on Syria settlement should adhere to.

  Coming to Militants' Rescue

The legislator said saving militants is the only motivation behind the support for the ceasefire by arrogant powers, including the US that claims to be an advocate of human rights but fuels terrorism in the region.

"Whenever they feel terrorists are taking blows from resistance forces and are on the decline, they come to their rescue and call for ceasefires," he said.

The recent ceasefire materialized after the Syrian Army, which was engaged in a months-long operation to retake the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, managed to encircle militants in a small pocket of the second biggest Syrian city last month.

Late December, a Russia-Turkey brokered deal for evacuation of gunmen to other militant-held areas handed the Syrian government a great triumph.

Last week, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2236 in support of the nationwide ceasefire in Syria.

If the tentative ceasefire holds, representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups will meet in Kazakhstan's capital Astana later this month to discuss a resolution.

UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday that peace talks, which will be held under the aegis of Turkey, Russia and Iran, should aim to consolidate Syria's ceasefire and pave the way for wider intra-Syrian negotiations under the UN auspices in Geneva early February.

Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday his government is encouraging Astana peace talks and hoped they will mark a step toward lasting peace.

After several failed ceasefire attempts brokered by the US and Russia, Washington remained out of the Dec. 20 trilateral talks on Syria in Moscow. It is unclear whether the United States will attend the Astana talks.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints