UN expresses security concerns in NE Syria and calls for ‘serious diplomatic talks’

The United Nations says it is “extremely concerned” about the safety of civilians in north-eastern Syria and has called for “serious diplomatic talks” and “unity” to address the threat posed by terrorist groups amid the Hasaka prison siege fight.

“I call again for serious diplomatic talks on a series of steps that could affect the dynamics of the conflict, build trust and security between Syrians and international stakeholders, and move forward step by step,” said the envoy, UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, before the Security Council.

In particular, he explained that he had convened senior officials from key stakeholders for bilateral consultations in Geneva: “Of course, the Syrian government and the High Committee for Syrian Negotiations are invited and I hope to involve them more closely soon.”

UN expresses security concerns in NE Syria and calls for ‘serious diplomatic talks’
UN expresses security concerns in NE Syria and calls for ‘serious diplomatic talks’

He also stressed that he had held bilateral talks with various stakeholders and that “he will continue consultations with other interlocutors in the near future,” the international organization said in a statement.

In this sense, he has warned that the steps taken must be “mutual, realistic, precise and verifiable” in order to achieve a solution to the conflict, which is in a “strategic impasse” as the country is “de facto” divided ” remains. and society is deeply “divided”.

“It is clear that there is no actor or group of actors that can determine the course or outcome of this conflict. In fact, the military solution remains an illusion,” he said, repeating that the way lies in “uniting to fight the conflict threat from internationally outlawed terrorist groups.

Pedersen told the UN Security Council that despite the fact that the uprising at Kurdish authorities-controlled Ghueiran prison was silenced – with more than 200 dead – the incident is reminiscent of the “terrible prison breaks” that marked the original rise of Islam state in 2014 and 2015.

“In the last few hours, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have regained control and all or most Islamic State fighters appear to have surrendered. However, the situation is evolving. We are still very concerned about the safety of civilians,” he stressed.

The UN special envoy for Syria has reiterated that at least 14 million civilians are in need of humanitarian assistance and that more than 13 are still displaced: “Many are currently facing (in the camps) cold winter conditions. Tens of thousands are arrested, kidnapped or disappeared”.

Pedersen has also focused on recent airstrikes in Idlib province – by various armed groups including Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) – which have killed at least 13 civilians and damaged civilian infrastructure.

Added to this are the ongoing rocket attacks on the port of the coastal city of Latakia in western Syria, which were recently attributed to the Israeli army, as well as the violence in the south of the country and the general insecurity caused by drug smuggling.

“I can promise you that I will spare no effort to involve the Syrian government and opposition, all sectors of Syrian society, men and women, and all international stakeholders in fulfilling my mandate in the Security Council,” has been done.

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