The Syrian Coalition regreted that Russia is reluctant to see the Assad regime engage in the negotiations to be held next week in Geneva.
Anas al-Abdah, Secretary of the political body, said today that “Russia has dragged its feet on UN Security Council resolution 2254, in particular the article which calls for the convening of negotiations between the regime and the Syrian opposition. Russia continues to bomb cities and commit massacres in Syria and target the mainstream armed opposition on a daily basis. It also supports the Assad regime’s policy of siege and starvation, which claimed the lives of dozens of people as a result of hunger.”
Abdah pointed out that “Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies persist on pursuing a military solution to the crisis and are not serious about finding a political solution. Their participation in the Vienna meetings and Russia’s signing off on UN Security Council resolution 2254 is just a ploy to gain time. Moreover, Russia’s actions in Syria undermine chances of reaching a political solution to the conflict.”
Following a briefing session at the UN Security Council on the situation in Syria on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power paid particular attention to 15 areas under siege, saying the Assad regime is responsible for 12 of the blockades and that at least 35 people have died there since the beginning of December.
“The United States remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria—especially in the 15 besieged areas—and in any place where Syrians are suffering and, in some cases dying, for lack of access to assistance. The Syrian regime has besieged 12 of those 15 areas, and its callousness is evident in harrowing images—and at least 35 deaths from starvation since the beginning of December,” Power said.
Power stressed that “though the regime is not alone: ISIL and certain armed opposition groups are also engaging in this barbaric method of warfare.”
“All parties—in particular, the Syrian regime—must immediately comply with obligations under international humanitarian law and allow immediate, unconditional and unfettered access to humanitarian assistance by all those in need in Syria. The United Nations, relief agencies and the larger international community should not accept access on a piecemeal basis,” she added.
The US Ambassador went on to say that “we note the International Syria Support Group and the UN Security Council have given their full support to a political transition. A political solution cannot include a role for President Bashar al Assad, who has lost the ability and credibility to govern the Syrian people.”
Power stressed that “the only way to fully address the humanitarian situation in Syria is through a political solution as outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We look forward to the talks convening as scheduled at the end of January without preconditions.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)