3 June 2016 - Syria: the regime continues to sow death and to martyr its own people
Syria - Remarks to the press by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 3 June 2016
We are going to have an important meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Syria with a briefing by both Staffan de Mistura and Stephen O’Brien.
In my national capacity, I would like to make three comments:
1/ Let’s call a spade a spade: the Syrian regime is continuing to sow death and to martyr its own people with complete impunity.
The bombing of the rebels and the civilian populations is continuing, if not increasing, in Idlib, in Aleppo and elsewhere. A barrage of fire is raining down on Aleppo, which is to a large extend the key to Syria’s future. The regime is continuing, day after day, to use barrel bombs as instruments of death.
The situation is no better with respect to access to humanitarian assistance for the populations in need, notably in besieged cities. We have not been fooled by the Syrian regime’s ploy to authorize certain convoys which turn out to be empty of food or medicines, or both. This is at best a drop in the ocean and more simply an appalling deception. The Syrian regime is continuing to systematically starve hundreds of thousands of civilians and to use them as weapons of war. These are war crimes.
2/ In this context the top priority is to get those who have influence over Damascus, starting with Russia, to strongly increase their pressure on the regime.
In the same vein and in accordance with the commitments made in Vienna on May 17th, we ask the UN and WFP in particular to make, as a matter of urgency, the necessary preparations to make airdrops into the areas that are most in need. We all know that airdrops are difficult operations but we have to stick to our commitments if the Syrian regime, once again, does not uphold its commitments.
3/ What is at stake here is the necessity to put an end to a humanitarian disaster. It is also a national security priority for France and other partner countries. While the fight against Daesh is entering a new phase - in Syria as well as in Iraq - it’s clear that the Damascus regime’s crimes only serve, objectively, to encourage Daesh and increase the flood of Syrian refugees. There is therefore an additional urgent need to substantially improve the humanitarian situation and to launch - on this basis - credible negotiations on the necessary political transition in Syria.
Q: (On the airdrops)
R: We all know it’s difficult. We all know that plan A, the best option, would be to have a free humanitarian access to the populations in need. That’s crystal clear and that’s why, in any case we have to strongly increase the pressure on the Syrian regime to have, if possible, plan A, full humanitarian access, which is an obligation under international law for the Syrian regime. And plan B, if it doesn’t work, the airdrops. That’s why we need to prepare for the airdrops now and not later.