The Syrian regime with help from Russia continues to engage in ruthless bombing campaigns in Idlib and Aleppo governorates, killing hundreds more civilians, noted U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield in recent remarks to the UN Security Council. “What’s more, Assad regime-led attacks, supported by Russian airstrikes concentrated in western portions of Idlib, have destroyed tents of displaced persons.”
“We also condemn the attacks by Iranian-aligned militia groups on U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq and Syria,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “Just like any other Member State, the United States has the right to self-defense, as outlined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. We have, therefore, conducted targeted response strikes. And we stand ready to take further action, as necessary and appropriate, to address further threats of attacks.”
In November the U.S. designated Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada and its Secretary-General as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. “Additionally, we designated six individuals affiliated with the Iran-aligned militia [group] Kata’ib Hizballah,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“Iran, through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, has supported these and other militant groups. It has supplied them with training, funding, and sophisticated weapons, including increasingly accurate and lethal unmanned aerial systems. This escalatory behavior is unacceptable. And it does nothing to address the oppressive and dire economic conditions facing Syrian civilians today.”
Unfortunately, the Syrian regime has obstructed all attempts to achieve progress on the political front, leading to dire consequences, warned Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“As a result, the Syrian people continue to flee their homes in droves, with refugees showing no indication of a wish to return. Not because of economic conditions, as the regime maintains, but because they fear regime oppression, and torture, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearance; mandatory conscription, and sexual and gender-based violence.”
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield called for the release of the more than 150,000 people the Syrian regime has arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared. She also urged the Assad regime to extend authorization for the Bab al-Hawa crossing before it expires in January so that the humanitarian needs of thousands of Syrian civilians can be met during the cold winter months.
“ Most of all,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, “we call on this Council to stand with the Syrian people as they fight for their fundamental freedoms and a more just and peaceful future.”