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Rudaw

Syria

Lengthy Idlib assault favors US interests, argues Russia's UN Amb

By Rudaw 12/9/2018
Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia speaks to the media after attending a Security Council meeting on September 6, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt | AFP
Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia speaks to the media after attending a Security Council meeting on September 6, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt | AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — With most of the United Nations Security Council cautioning Russia and Iran of backing the Syrian regime's imminent assault on Idlib, Russia's top diplomat to the UN hinted that Washington wants chaos in the northwestern governorate.

"This [Idlib] is their [the United States and its allies] hope in a way. Imagine tomorrow is under Idlib control, what is left? The illegitimate US presence in the northeast, that is it," Vassily Nebenzya, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, told Rudaw on Tuesday in New York.

US counterpart Nikki Haley told the Security Council that the aim of the Idlib operation is "a bloody military conquest."

"The world will hold them responsible," she added, referring to permanent UNSC member Russia.

Nearly 3 million people are in Idlib with an estimated 10,000 Al Qaeda-linked fighters.

The United States has no presence in northwest Syria and favors a UN solution to the conflict with elections to decide the fate of President Bashar al-Assad. Its presence is limited to supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria against ISIS, but strategic NATO ally Turkey has continued to back the National Front for the Liberation, an opposition group.

Haley, who holds the revolving Security Council presidency for September, warned that "the consequences will be dire" if the operation goes ahead.

Turkey favored a ceasefire for Syria in tripartite meetings with Russia and Iran last week.

The United Nations and Turkey have warned of humanitarian risks and massive displacement that could affect the West if the assault goes ahead.

"There is no doubt that an all-out military operation would result in a major humanitarian catastrophe," Turkish Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu told the Security Council.

He warned Russian and Syrian bombings will cause a "massive wave of refugees and tremendous security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Syria and its backers that Idlib "must not be transformed into a bloodbath."

"This would unleash a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict," said Guterres.

Some 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since it began in 2011. More than half of all Syrians have been displaced at one time or another.

Comments

 
Halmat | 12/9/2018
"but strategic NATO ally Turkey has continued to back the National Front for the Liberation, an opposition group". Could it get more obvouse that an Erdogan loving Turk is the editor of this "news site"? Turkey is no US ally, it used to be but not anymore. And besides the SDF there is no such thing as a "opposition group" in Syria, there are different shades of Jihadists and Turkey has backed or backs most of them.
Vlad | 12/9/2018
Not unsympathetic for the suffering of the civilian population, and the Russians turned out to be just as bad as any other brutal regime in the Syrian Theater, but why are you guys publishing more articles on Idlib than you did on Kurdish Afrin? Afrin was viscously attacked and run over by the Turkish army and their Syrian jihadists, remember? They are kidnapping, killing and looting daily in Afrin. The same jihadi scum are about to get stomped by Assad, Iran and the Russians in Idlib. This is pure Karma in action
Check | 12/9/2018
With all due respect for the Russian ambassador but most of northern Syria is Kurdish land, it's called Rojava. The US doesn't need permission from the illegitimate Syrian government to stay in Rojava, because the real owners (the Kurds) have invited them. Another solution would be for the US to help Kurds set up a state of their own there, problem solved.
Guest | 12/9/2018
What needs to be discussed is what would favor the people of Syria's interest? Mass murdering the people in Idlib is not something the people of Syria wish to see happen. I believe the people of Syria would like to see a unified Syria with a government that represents all the people of Syria, and a Constitution that is upheld by the government and guarantees the individual liberties of the people of Syria. No foreign government, including the Assad regime, has the right to dictate the wishes of the Syrian people or to oppress them. Iran, Russia, and the Assad regime are as much terrorists as ISIS and Al Qaeda. Syria should be governed by civilian officials elected by the people. The military should serve at the request of the elected government to defend the sovereignty of Syria. The local police forces should serve to enforce the laws of the country. Courts, with elected officials, should serve the Syria people to settle issues in a civil manner. Mr. Nebenzia, you are not a Syria and you don't have the right to say what should happen in Syria!
Mohamedzzz | 12/9/2018
Terrorist should understand that there's NO safe haven for them, NO one can save them this time around, not even Turkey or the West, Russia will be pumping bombs until the last terrorist is fried.

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