By Jerry Alatalo
fter calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the representatives of the United States, United Kingdom and France walked out of the meeting while Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari addressed the council. The video below recorded Dr. Jaafari’s address with English translation. The official transcript/record of the Security Council’s over 2-hour meeting is available on the United Nations webite, and here is Dr. Jaafari’s statement to the Council.
I give the floor to the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic. Mr. Ja’afari
(Syrian Arab Republic) spoke in Arabic.
With regard to the comments by the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, one of the three States that called for this meeting, asserting that Syria is broken and about to die, I would like to reassure him that Syria has never been broken. His words are tantamount to the dream of Satan to reach Paradise, mere dreams or wishful thinking. They are not worthy of a permanent member of the Security Council. As for the three permanent members together, they sounded as if they were rediscovering the wheel. They discovered that the Syrian Government was trying to recapture Aleppo. What a great discovery!
As if Aleppo were a town in Djibouti or Afghanistan — or in Brazil, for that matter. I reassure them that the Syrian Government will recapture the entire city of Aleppo. If the countries’ of the permanent members of the Security Council each have one capital, we have two capitals, Damascus and Aleppo. If Shakespeare or the pioneers of the Theatre of the Absurd, Jean Genet, Adamov, Kaf ka, Kierkegaard and Georges Shehadeh, were to appear among us again, they would have written better tragedies and better plays than they did in their time. They would have never listened to the lies that are similar to King Lear’s lies. Some of them are mourning the deaths of the very persons that they killed with their own hands. They weep crocodile tears.
The same three permanent members that called for this urgent meeting have aborted a presidential statement 13 times by striking the Arab-Syrian Army, in error, or through other actions. But when a French terrorist named Mohammed Merah wreaked havoc in the French city of Toulouse, he was killed by 300 hundred bullets at the hands of the security forces. They did well. However, in Syria we did not call that French terrorist a moderate or an individual belonging to a moderate opposition group. Even if Spain were to give away the Basque region — or France Corsica; or Great Britain Scotland or the United States Texas — the Syrian Government will never relinquish one inch of its territory, in accordance with international law.
At the request of certain Council members, we have gathered here today in their attempt to come to the rescue of armed terrorist groups that they falsely call the moderate armed opposition. They do that whenever indications point to the possibility that these groups, under attack from the Syrian Arab Army and their allies, face defeat. They forgot the crime committed by the Nur al-Din al-Zanki rebel group when they beheaded Abdullah Issa, the Palestinian child, before everyone’s eyes. At that time, that rebel group was in control of the Handarat refugee camp with the Al-Nusra Front. We believe that the call for this urgent meeting is a message from the countries that called it to the Al-Nusra Front and the other terrorist groups, namely, that their support and political cover will continue unhindered,and that the weapon of terrorism that puts pressure on the Syrian Government and its allies will continue to be effective.
Based on our constitutional responsibility to protect our citizens from the acts of armed terrorist groups, which have inflicted suffering on our people in Aleppo, the military operation by the Syrian Army and its allies that began two days ago includes efforts to safeguard the lives of our citizens. They were advised to stay away from positions of the armed terrorist groups and to take all measures to facilitate their evacuation and secure the basic needs of a dignified life. Those measures included even those who were deceived into taking up arms against the State. On the other hand, the terrorist groups continue to prevent civilians from leaving Aleppo, with a view to using them as human shields.
We know that Aleppo has more than 2 million inhabitants, with 750,000 persons in east Aleppo. At the same time, my country condemns the use of internally prohibited weapons. We stress that all military operations conducted by the Syrian army and its allies on Syrian territory abide by the Charter of the United Nations and the Council’s resolutions on combating terrorism. We denounce the fabricated accusations levelled by certain members of the Council, in addition to senior United Nations officials, against the Syrian army and its allies through alleging that they use internationally prohibited weapons or that they deliberately target civilians.
It is indeed odd that the Secretary-General and his senior aides would level such fabricated and untrue accusations, which rely on false accounts from individuals who are terrorists. They also ignore clear evidence pointing to the repeated use by armed terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, of chemical weapons against military personnel and civilians and to the seizure of a chlorine gas factory situated 40 miles from Aleppo. I have received information that terrorists disguised as Syrian military personnel are plotting to use dangerous phosphorous-based materials against Syrian civilians. The goal is that Syrian military personnel, as has happened in the past, will be accused of committing such crimes.
They are trying to influence the Council and public opinion by distributing photographs. That dangerous chemical material is located in six barrels in a warehouse situated 20 kilometres from Aleppo. On 6 September, that warehouse housing yellow phosphorous material was visited by two United States experts. They then left for Turkey. I am relaying to the Council the information that has been given to me, as with hundreds of other items of information in connection with terrorist activities in my country. Those who commit war crimes in Syria are well-known. They are the ones who killed 200 civilians in the town of Manbij, bombed a school for the deaf in Raqqa and targeted the Syrian army in Deir ez-Zor. They are backing Da’esh and providing all kinds of support for the hundreds of thousands of terrorists who have been brought to Syria from more than 100 countries — according to the reports of the Secretary-General to the Council over numerous years.
More than anyone, we want an end to the bloodshed in Syria and to the prolonged suffering of the Syrian people. Accordingly, we welcomed the United States-Russia agreement on fighting Da’esh and the Al-Nusra Front and their allies — differentiating between the Al-Nusra Front and what is known as the “moderate” armed opposition groups — and ceasing hostilities for one week. While we were committed to the agreement, those who employ terrorist groups in Syria told them to reject the agreement. Immediately thereafter, more than 20 armed terrorist groups rejected it, including the Nur al-Din al-Zanki and Al-Nusra groups, as well as the Ahrar Al-Sham. That rejection was accompanied by targeting the Syrian army on the Castello Road and at various other positions.
They violated the agreement 300 times before it expired, leading to the martyrdom of 200 civilians and 157 military personnel, as well as to hundreds of seriously injured victims. In a deliberate attempt to sabotage the agreement, the military aircraft of what is known as the international coalition led by the United States bombarded the positions of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces fighting Da’esh in Deir ez-Zor. That is not the first time that these groups have committed such crimes. It is truly deplorable that certain members of the Council, in addition to senior United Nations officials, including the Secretary-General, continue to call upon the Syrian Government and its allies to adhere to the cessation of hostilities — despite all kinds of evidence on the ground proving that since the beginning, those countries have been backing armed terrorist groups, which have never wanted and will never want this endeavour to succeed.
That was made abundantly clear by the violations of the agreement by the armed terrorist groups and the so-called international coalition, which were directly or indirectly involved. Worse still is that the United States shirked the responsibility of its main obligation, namely, to differentiate between the Al-Nusra Front and those groups that it insists on classifying as moderate armed opposition groups. That has led to undermining all the progress achieved over five years of the war imposed upon our country, clearly showing the lack of a political will on the part of those who sponsor terrorism to stop the bloodshed — as if the objective were to neutralize the Syrian forces instead of finding a solution.
Is it not now time for those on the Council who continue to deceive themselves and public opinion to desist from protecting and supporting what they refer to as the moderate armed opposition? All such armed groups are only the different sides of the same coin — terrorism — which has had a boomerang effect, with attacks, terrorist activities and extremist ideologies in those members’ capitals, owing to their flawed policies and practices. Wouldany representative in this Chamber dare to justify the support given by Council members for four years in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weaponry to the Nur al-Din al-Zanki terrorist group, which beheaded that Palestinian child — an event that the Security Council is lamenting today? That faction revealed the falsehood of Council members’ political media campaigns that claim that the faction is a moderate opposition when it declared that it belongs to he Al-Nusra Front.
It is incumbent on certain members of the Council to stop their exploitation of the Syrian people’s suffering, which they created themselves through their military, political and financial support. The politicization of the Syrian crisis will lead only to the prolongation of the crisis and the worsening of the plight of Syrian people, in the service of well-vested narrow interests, far removed from humanitarian goals. Our commitment to fighting terrorism goes hand in hand with our commitment to reaching a political solution through intra-Syrian talks to be decided by Syrians themselves, who should decide the future of their country without any foreign intervention.With regard to solutions imposed from abroad, they are completely and categorically rejected by the Syrian Government. In that regard, we underscore that any political solution can be successful only if it provides the necessary conditions through intensified efforts to fight terrorism and by advancing reconciliation processes, which have been successful in many of other regions.
The international community must therefore understand that the real war against terrorism has not yet begun. The advent of the Syrian victory is imminent. This victory will further the implementation of Security Council resolutions and the maintenance of international peace and security. I have information with regard to what has happened in Deir ez-Zour.
The following is the UN description of what Dr. Jaafari said in the meeting, and an unofficial, for information purposes only summation.
BASHAR JA’AFARI (Syria) said three of the Council’s members had behaved as though they were reinventing the wheel, while with lies being told, crocodile tears shed and 13 violations of a Council presidential statement committed through the bombing of Syrian Armed Forces and other targets. Aleppo was not just a town, but one of Syria’s capital cities and just as the United States would never give up Texas, his Government would never relinquish an inch of its territory. With a view to protecting citizens from armed terrorist groups, the Syrian Armed Forces and its allies had responded, including taking measures to help civilians leave Aleppo, which had a population of 2 million. Condemning the use of internationally prohibited weapons, he denounced allegations made by certain Council members about his Government’s use of such weapons and the deliberate targeting of civilians. The armed groups’ actions, including their seizure of a chlorine gas factory 40 kilometres from Aleppo, had meanwhile been ignored. He referred to a report that terrorist groups were now planning to use phosphorous gas and blame its use on the Syrian Armed Forces, he underlined that his country had continuously reported such illegal acts to the Council.
Welcoming the recent United States-Russian Federation agreement, he said his Government supported the ceasefire. Yet, those States that were “employing” terrorist groups in Syria had seen that more than 20 armed groups had rejected the agreement, including Nusrah Front, thereby sabotaging the ceasefire. The international coalition had bombarded the Syrian Armed Forces, who were positioned to fight Da’esh. While some Council members and senior officials had continued to call on the Government to support progress, he said the reality on the ground clearly demonstrated that it was the terrorist groups and their supporters that were hampering such efforts. As a result, those efforts had been undermined, showing the absence of the required political will to find a solution of those who were sponsoring the bloodbath. It was time for the Council to stop the moderate armed groups, whose actions amounted to terrorism. He asked if any member in the Chamber would have the courage to stop Nur al-Din al-Zanki, an armed group that had declared allegiance to Nusrah Front. The Syrian people’s suffering must end, and the politicization of the crisis would only prolong the crisis.
Mr. DE MISTURA, responding to one question that he called “clearly precise” and “clearly erased” by the Russian Federation’s delegate, said he was guided by resolution 2254 (2016). He had in the past witnessed refusals for active direct talks from the agency that did set preconditions. He said he did ask the Ambassador who was also the representative of the Government in Geneva if they wanted to have at that time direct talks with current delegations. “You, Mr. Ambassador did indicate that you did not want to discuss with terrorists or their representatives.” The political process could not be hostage to the security environment. During “that special day” on 9 September of long, detailed discussions with the Russian Federation and United States, he said he made a statement that said that the United Nations hoped that its implementation would facilitate renewed efforts to reach a Syrian-owned and -led arrangement. Regarding when he would send the invitation for renewed talks, he said it would be for direct talks.
Mr. JA’AFARI (Syria) said that when the Geneva II conference was held with a view to preparing for the Geneva IV conference, Jordan was tasked with determining which groups were terrorists and which were not, and Saudi Arabia with who pertained to the opposition and who did not. Yet, neither Jordan nor Saudi Arabia had prepared such a definition. Terrorists were invited to the Geneva conference, but they were excluded afterwards because everyone found out they were terrorists. “Syrians went to Geneva and would return to Geneva to engage in an inter-Syrian dialogue, not an inter-terrorist dialogue,” he said. The Special Envoy had to gather that information. His Government was not prepared to negotiate with terrorists; it would only negotiate with one united opposition that truly desired a Syria without any external interference. “The Syrian Government is prepared to return to Geneva and to resume the dialogue, but not with the deaf, the mute, nor the blind. We want to resume the dialogue with nationals like us who don’t have an external agenda and engage with Governments that use them in cheap tricks.”
In regard to the over five (5) years of wars, killing and destruction which has devastated Syria, and while discovering, specifying and acknowledging those guilty of major war crimes – the United Nations and the world has reached an absolute, profound and decisive moment of truth.
(Thank you to The Syrian Mission to the United Nations at YouTube)