United Nations official: Pauses in Syria suburb ‘not enough’

Mar 6, 2018
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According to an unidentified member state, the North’s Ryonhap-2 Corporation was involved that year in a Syrian ballistic missile program, the “maneuverable re-entry vehicle (MARV) Scud D (MD) project”, the report said.

It said an unnamed United Nations member state also reported evidence of Myanmar’s receipt of a range of conventional weapons from North Korea including multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles in addition to ballistic missile systems.

The inquiry had previously found that Syrian government forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks in 2014 and 2015 and that Islamic State militants used mustard gas.

The supplies reported to have been illicitly sent to Syria by North Korea included high-heat, acid-resistant tiles, corrosion-resistant valves and thermometers.

Guterres said he welcomed such resolutions but added that they “are only meaningful if they are effectively implemented”.

A UN Security Council resolution for a 30-day truce had remained a dead letter since it was passed, and Moscow, the Syrian regime’s main backer, ended up setting its own terms to stem one of the worst episodes of bloodletting in Syria’s seven-year-old conflict.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in Moscow that the five-hour pause that started Tuesday “is a real advance. This is a very bad situation for me”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose portrait was featured alongside Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad’s at the Wafideen checkpoint, blamed the crisis on the rebels’ “constant shelling”. “The worldwide community should support all Syrian parties, under the mediation of the United Nations, as soon as possible through a political process owned and led by the Syrian people to find solutions acceptable to all parties”, the analysis continued.

It has been accused of repeatedly using banned chemical weapons in the civil war since then.

Moscow’s “humanitarian pause” echoes a similar tactic employed by Russian Federation and the Syrian regime as they looked to force rebels out of second city Aleppo during a ferocious 2016 battle.

At least five civilians were killed on Thursday in attacks on several towns in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta – a suburb of the capital Damascus – activist Abdelmalik Aboud told Al Jazeera from the town of Douma. According to The New York Times, those shipments included prohibited ballistic missile parts.

While jihadi spokesmen contend that men face arrest or army conscription if they leave, the four main jihadi factions based in eastern Ghouta – Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), Faylaq al-Rahman (Legion of Rahman), Ahrar al-Sham (Freemen of the Levant) and al-Qaeda’s Tahrir al-Sham (Liberation of the Levant) – use force to prevent civilians from departing.

The UN report is said to highlight its efforts to illicitly trade with dozens of countries and groups in the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America. “We raised this issue with Washington many times and there is no credible answer”, he said. Should we continue to tolerate this?

A general view taken from Damascus shows smoke rising from the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta following fresh air strikes and rocket fire

 

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