Ahead of today’s debate on “Security, development and the root causes of conflict” in the Security Council, the Syrian National Coalition’s Special Representative to the UN, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, called on the Security Council to address the root causes of the crisis, by ending indiscriminate aerial bombardment, which is the primary killer of Syrian civilians and a major radicalising factor.
“After the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, it is clear that the only way to end the terrorist threat posed by ISIS is to solve the crisis in Syria. But strikes on ISIS alone will not achieve that. To solve the crisis—and achieve a political solution—we need a comprehensive approach that will end indiscriminate aerial bombardment and provide the protection that Syrian civilians desperately need”, said Dr. Ghadbian.
Aerial bombardment is now the number one killer of Syrian civilians, responsible for 62 percent of all civilian deaths in Syria in October 2015. Airstrikes by Syrian and now Russian forces have overwhelmingly affected civilians. Of the 276 individuals killed by Russian forces in October 2015, a staggering 95 percent—or 263 people—were civilians. “These indiscriminate attacks are fuelling the refugee crisis in Europe, and providing a major recruiting tool for ISIS”, Dr. Ghadbian said. In a letter to the Security Council, Dr. Ghadbian called on the Security Council to:
• Guarantee the protection civilians throughout political talks in Vienna;
• Stop the leading killer of Syrian civilians--indiscriminate aerial bombardment--by enforcing a no-bombing zone which would deter indiscriminate air strikes by any party to the conflict;
• Ensure that any political solution is Syrian led and Syrian owned, and stop the exclusion of Syrians from the talks in Vienna, which both undermines their legitimacy and makes them less likely to succeed.
To read Dr. Ghadbian’s full letter to the Security Council, press here.