The four EU members of the UN Security Council — Belgium, Estonia, France and Germany — plus Poland, on Friday asked for an immediate end to the Assad regime and Russia’s onslaught on northwest Syria. They sounded the alarm about an escalation in violence that has forced more than 800,000 Syrians to flee their homes in the northwest of the country since December.
Speaking on behalf of European Union members, Sven Jurgenson, Estonia’s ambassador to the UN, said that the offensive had caused “one of the worst man-made displacements that we have seen anywhere in the world in years.”
“Attacks continue to include civilian targets in densely-populated areas, medical facilities and settlements for internally displaced people,” Jurgenson told reporters after closed-door talks on the unfolding crisis in the UN Security Council in New York. “These attacks must stop immediately.”
“We are deeply alarmed by the ongoing military escalation in northwest Syria that has displaced more than 800,000 people since Dec. 1. This is one of the worst man-made displacements that we have seen anywhere in the world in years. And it has been and continues to be entirely avoidable,” read the statement.
“Deliberate strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure such as medical facilities or schools are outrageous and a blatant violation of international law, not to speak of the basic principles of humanity. The persons responsible for these violations must be held accountable.”
The statement called for allowing unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need of assistance and to respect the rules and obligations of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.
“There can be no sustainable military solution to the Syrian conflict. Sustainable peace, stability and security in Syria can only be achieved through a political settlement under the auspices of the UN, in line with Security Council resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communique of 2012.”
Since November 25, the Russian air force, Assad regime forces, and Iranian-backed militias have been pressing ahead with a ferocious assault on Idlib province. The assault has escalated since December 20, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians and displacing hundreds of thousands more from their homes. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)