https://central.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_ca/features/2019/09/20/feature-02
| Diplomacy

Russia vetos UN resolution aimed at stopping 'catastrophe' in Syria

Caravanserai and AFP

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A member of the Syria Civil Defense (White Helmets) cares for a newborn child after Russian war planes bombed a hospital in Urem al-Kubra, Syria, on August 30. [White Helmets]

UNITED NATIONS -- Russia and China on Thursday (September 19) vetoed a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution backed by 12 of the 15 member states that called for a ceasefire in war-torn Idlib Province, Syria.

Germany, Belgium and Kuwait had led the push for the resolution, noting that half a million Syrians have been displaced in Idlib since government forces opened an offensive four months ago.

They warned that the conflict could become the century's worst humanitarian crisis if the fighting persisted and urged Russia not to veto what they said was a "purely humanitarian" measure.

But following two weeks of negotiations, Russia quashed the text after pressing unsuccessfully to include an exception for "anti-terrorist operations".

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Residents walk near heavily damaged buildings in rebel-held Idlib, Syria, September 16. A deal Moscow and Ankara reached last year on the Idlib region of Syria was meant to prevent a bloodbath, but bombardment since late April has exacted a mounting death toll. [Zein Al Rifai/AFP]

The failed resolution said that all parties should cease hostilities "to avoid a further deterioration of the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Idlib Governorate, beginning at noon Damascus time on 21 September."

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, denounced "the surge of humanitarian activism" by other members of the Security Council whenever the Syrian regime -- which is backed by Russia -- recovered territory.

"The resolution was doomed to fail from the outset," he said.

Deadly offensive

Russia and China countered by presenting an alternative resolution, which was easily voted down later in Thursday's session.

It had specified that the ceasefire would not apply to military operations against individuals, groups or entities "associated with terrorist groups".

Western nations said the wording was unacceptable, as it allowed too much room for interpretation and may not have stopped the bombing of civilians.

"Bombing hospitals, schools and civilian facilities is no help in the fight against terrorism," said Marc Pecsteen, Belgium's ambassador to the UN.

Russia supports the Syrian forces of Bashar al-Assad, who have been conducting a bloody four-month-long campaign to wrest the northwestern province of Idlib from rebel forces.

A deal Russia and Turkey reached last year was meant to prevent a bloodbath in Idlib, but bombardments restarted in late April.

About 1,000 civilians have been killed since then, mostly in air strikes and shelling, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The humanitarian situation remains alarming," said Ursula Mueller, assistant secretary general for the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

On Wednesday (September 18), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined Peter Maurer, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in appealing for an end to air and artillery bombardments of Idlib, citing the devastating impact on civilians.

Shielding Syria

The vote Thursday saw Russia's 13th veto of a UN resolution since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011.

In a similar attempt in June to protect its Syrian ally from international scrutiny, Russia blocked a UN Security Council statement criticising Syria's military campaign in Idlib.

Russia in May blocked a separate statement warning of a humanitarian catastrophe from an all-out assault on the Idlib region.

It warned of "a potential humanitarian catastrophe in the event of a full-scale military operation in northwestern Syria", according to the text seen by AFP.

Moscow objected to "everything" in the proposed statement, Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said at the time.

Moscow on May 16 presented a draft resolution to the Security Council accusing the UN's chemical weapons watchdog of "politicisation" just before the start of a new probe of chemical attacks in Syria, where the regime has long been accused of using chemical weapons.

The chemical weapons regulator, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), agreed last year to set up a mechanism that would identify users of chemical weapons, a move bitterly opposed by Russia and Syria.

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War means profit. Russia, in other words, the second Hitler (take a look at the Putin's photo; you'll see it if you draw a moustache on his face), is poised to destroy humankind for gain.

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Will Russia ever stop perpetrating atrocities

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Should we trust all the media? They write whatever they please. Zero responsibility

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Russian crimes in Syria should be investigated

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The Kremlin sponsors the murder of innocent Syrians

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Russia is a generous soul [an old, widely televised Russian commercial slogan]

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Nothing has changed. The bloodthirsty Asad supported by Russia is perpetrating the genocide of Syrians. They will get smashed like in Afghanistan the USSR fled from in disgrace with its tail between its legs.

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Russia is indeed a terrorist

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The White Helmets kill people and harvest their organs with the USA's approval

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Russia is merely perpetrating another genocide against civilians in Syria. It is the only thing these barbarians can do.

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I believe Russia is on Shi'a Muslims' side and is decreasing the number of Sunni.

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You are so narrow-minded. I spoke to a Syrian Sunni woman two years ago, and she told me they totally supported Al-Asad. They didn't care who's Sunni or Shi'a or Christian. What's important to them is that they're Syrian.

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But even Syrians hate those who use transliteration.

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It's all lies and provocation. The "White Helmets" are actors in the show directed by the USA and other Western countries.

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From whose point of view is thе article written?

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From the point of view of the truth, not Russia

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Because Russia is killing civilians in Syria.

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You are beasts. It [Russia] is doing the right thing.

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The USA is doing the right thing by thrashing Russia.
Crimea is [part of] Ukraine.

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Ukraine is getting thrashed along with the USA

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Your Russia is being thrashed so far

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