On Tuesday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2258, authorizing the delivery of cross-border and cross-line humanitarian assistance to 13.5 million Syrians in need. Speaking on behalf of the Syrian National Coalition, its Special Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Najib Ghadbian, called on Member States to ensure its full implementation, including by stopping Russia’s indiscriminate air war against civilians:
“For close to five years, Assad’s forces have sought to starve innocent civilians into submission by deliberately besieging opposition-held areas, impeding cross-border deliveries, and refusing aid convoy approval. UN Security Council resolution 2258 offers an opportunity for the Security Council to stop the systematic atrocities perpetrated by the Syrian regime and its allies, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance to millions of Syrians. But to improve the humanitarian situation inside Syria, this resolution—like its predecessors—must be fully enforced.
“It is an outrage that humanitarian assistance to Syrians in hard-to-reach and besieged areas has declined in recent months. Russian airstrikes clearly bear major responsibility for this decline. In addition to killing more than 570 civilians, Russian airstrikes have impeded the delivery of aid across Syria’s borders with Turkey. They have targeted border crossings, decimated bakeries that feed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and destroyed vital water treatment facilities that serve more than 1 million people.
“If Members of the Security Council - or the wider international community - are serious about improving the humanitarian situation inside Syria, they must take action to stop Russia's and Assad's war on civilians. They must prioritize the protection of civilians, and respond to further attempts to impede or delay the delivery of humanitarian assistance with robust consequences. The protection of civilians will not merely improve the humanitarian situation—ensuring that more aid can get to more areas within Syria more of the time—but it will help facilitate the Vienna process and create the conditions needed to secure a political solution.”