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Russian UNSC draft on Syria has 'no future'

February 20, 2016 at 11:24 am

A Russian draft resolution demanding a halt to cross-border shelling in Syria has “no future” and is an attempt at “distraction”, UN Security Council members France and the US said Friday.

French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre, separately from US ambassador Samantha Power, told reporters that the draft circulated was a futile attempt, as they headed into a Security Council meeting where both countries have veto power.

The meeting was held Friday at the request of Russia to discuss the draft, which calls for Syrian government’s sovereignty be respected and condemns “continued cross-border shelling” in Syria.

The draft does not name Turkey, which recently has been shelling northern Syria intermittently in retaliation to artillery fire from terrorist PYD forces in the north of Aleppo province.

Delattre said the region was facing a “dangerous military escalation that could easily get out of control”.

“This military escalation…is the direct result of the brutal offensive in the north of Syria led by the Syrian regime and its allies, and…Russia must understand its unconditional support to [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad is a dead-end and a dead-end that could be extremely dangerous,” Delattre said.

Russia is one of the main backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has been widely accused of targeting civilians and moderate opposition forces with airstrikes to prop up its ally in Damascus.

After the meeting, Power urged Russia to focus on implementing a Dec. 18 Security Council resolution that endorsed a road map for peace process, “rather than trying to distract the world with the resolution they have just laid down”.

“We have a resolution on the books, it is the right resolution. We’ve committed ourselves to it and we need Russia to do the same”, she said.

“Right now, we have a bombing campaign in the northern part of Syria that is hitting hospitals, that has caused mass displacement with 70,000 people gathering now at the border. Huge suffering!” she added.

Russia and Syrian government forces are responsible for 1,195 of the 1,395 civilian deaths in Syria last month, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Network for Human Rights.

The Syrian civil war, which will enter its sixth year next month, has left more than 250,000 victims dead and made the country the world’s single largest source of refugees and displaced persons, according to UN figures.