UN Security Council discusses Syria, France pins blames on Assad
The U.N. Security Council discussed the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria late on Jan. 22.
“The party primarily responsible for the humanitarian tragedy in Syria is the Syrian regime,” France’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said following the closed-door talks at the U.N. headquarters in New York.
The council was originally scheduled to hear a report from U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock on his recent visit to Syria, but Turkey’s latest operation on the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin was also discussed, Delattre said.
The situation in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta are the Security Council’s first priorities, Delattre said before the meeting. “A tragedy is unfolding before our very eyes,” he added.
Describing the situation in Syria as “unacceptable,” Delattre said increased stability in the region would facilitate negotiations in Vienna later this month, referring to the talks that aspire to hasten the end of the Syrian civil war by bringing together the regime and opposition.
Eastern Ghouta, which is home to 400,000 civilians, has been under siege for five years and completely cut off from humanitarian aid.
Hundreds of thousands are in urgent need of medical attention.
In the past eight months, Bashar al-Assad’s regime has intensified its siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to enter the area, and leaving thousands of patients in urgent need of treatment.