West Plotting to Scuttle Syrian Settlement

The draft resolution against Syria is reminiscent of the western propaganda campaign against Iraq in early 2000s, in which false charges that the country has nukes were used as pretexts to invade it
The United Nations Security Council  The United Nations Security Council

Lawmakers said a western-sponsored draft resolution demanding sanctions against the Syrian government over allegations that it has used chemical weapons in the Syria conflict is aimed at derailing intra-Syrian peace talks, a new round of which started on Thursday under the UN auspices.

Reuters reported two unnamed western diplomats as saying on Thursday that the resolution could be put to a vote “as early as next week”.

The draft was prepared by western permanent members of the Security Council, including the US, a main supplier of arms to militants who nearly six years ago started their struggle to bring down the Syrian government.

The conflict has left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced.

The draft resolution seeks to blacklist 11 Syrian military commanders and officials and 10 government and related entities over alleged chemical weapons attacks, calling for an asset freeze and travel ban for them across all UN member states.

The resolution is based on a joint inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which Reuters claimed has found that Syrian government forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks in Idlib in northwest Syria in 2015.

Lawmaker Mohammad Javad Abtahi told ICANA on Sunday that the draft resolution is “politically-motivated” and part of efforts to prolong the dispute.

“The US spares no opportunity to damage Syria peace talks and the ongoing ceasefire in Syria,” he said, adding that it is in line with the interests of the Israeli regime, which seeks proxy wars in the Middle East to weaken the regional states.

The parliamentarian said the resolution reminds him of the western propaganda campaign against Iraq in early 2000s, in which false allegations that the country has nukes were used as pretexts to invade it in 2003.

Abtahi noted that by proposing such resolutions against the Syrian government to create an excuse for attacking Damascus shows “a re-launch of the Iraq project”.

The Reuters report was released on the same day that talks between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition with UN mediator Staffan de Mistura started in Geneva.

Reuters reported the diplomats as saying the resolution would likely be vetoed by Russia, as it has previously announced, but “with Geneva on at the same time, we think this resolution sends a strong message”.

It is not clear what kind of motives could be behind the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Army, as chlorine’s use as a weapon is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria joined in 2013.

The Syrian government has denied its forces used chemical weapons.

 Ulterior Motives  

Mohammad Javad Jamali, another lawmaker, said the draft resolution is aimed at pressuring the Syrian government and thwarting efforts to put an end to the standoff.

“While the Iran-Russia-Turkey diplomatic push has created new hopes for the settlement of the conflict, the US and its allies are increasing efforts to escalate tensions and prevent a breakthrough,” Jamali said.

“Sponsors of the resolution intend to establish no-fly zones and take control over Syria’s border areas to advance their interests in the long run”.

A top Russian diplomat to the United Nations said after a Security Council meeting to discuss the text on Friday that Russia is ready to veto the draft resolution, if it was put to a vote.

“There is an argument that the resolution itself contradicts the fundamental principle of presumption of innocence before the investigation is over,” said Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov.

There is “tremendous pressure” on the UN-OPCW joint inquiry into the use of chemical weapons in Syria to produce a one-sided result, he told reporters.

His remarks prompted a rebuke by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who later said, “How much longer is Russia going to continue to babysit and make excuses for the Syrian regime?”

She told reporters that after an “overwhelming” vote to investigate whether Syria was using chemical weapons, “the results have come out and people don’t like what the results are. It is ridiculous.”


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