Sunday, 29 March 2015

Syria is blocking aid to thousands of its civilians, UN is warned

 'Lady Amos said, "The authority of this Council is being undermined. People trapped in besieged locations are becoming more and more desperate." '

 That's the key to all this. Lady Amos' urgency isn't because of the depth of the suffering, it's that the international community risks losing control. The liberation of Idlib by a force spanning al-Nusra and the FSA, but mainly led by the more Islamist forces, leaves the UN needing to be seen to make an effort to stop Assad's multiple crimes against humanity. Hopefully the improvement in the situation will make al-Nusra grow up a bit, you can't go around kidnapping and killing other revolutionaries, and associating with al-Qaida, and then expect anyone to care if Assad and the US combine to bomb you to shit. And now the Syrian people now have a window where there is the option for better, at least until the UN tries to force a shoddy deal on them that leaves Assad in place, trying to persuade people to their sort of Islamism might be a better strategy than looking like the barbarians of ISIS.

There is a false equivalence in the claim that a UN Security Council resolution passed last year demanding humanitarian aid access to civilians caught in the war has been "flagrantly ignored by all fighting parties". The figure of 'as many as 185,500 people are trapped by the government', may be a severe underestimate*. And we'll wait and see if there's any action over yet another use of chemical weapons, "The attack on Sarmin came 10 days after the United Nations Security Council condemned the use of chlorine as a weapon in Syria and threatened to take action if such arms are used again in the conflict."
Report says nearly 650,000 besieged in Syria

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