In a recent meeting of the Security Council concerning the ongoing crisis in Syria, UN Deputy Special Envoy Najat Rochdi painted a disturbing picture of the current situation. Rochdi described the volatile environment as extremely dangerous, raising alarms over the continued violence and its potential to exacerbate tensions in the region, particularly given the recent conflicts in Gaza and Israel.
Playing with Fire
Labeling the situation as akin to playing with fire, Rochdi warned of the potential for a single miscalculation to ignite the situation across various parts of Syria. She underscored the urgent need to de-escalate violence not only in Syria but the broader region, expressing deep concern over the possibility of wider escalation.
Impacts of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Highlighting the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Syria, Rochdi cited recent Israeli airstrikes on Damascus airport and other locations across Syria. She also mentioned reports of rocket and missile attacks from southern Syria into the occupied Golan Heights, as well as attacks on American forces stationed in northeastern Syria. These attacks, she noted, are primarily launched from Iraq by Iran-backed groups, further complicating the region's tensions.
Four Messages of De-escalation
Reiterating the four messages conveyed by the Special Envoy last month, Rochdi stressed the need for a nationwide ceasefire, a cooperative approach to combating terrorist groups, maximum restraint from all parties, and full compliance with international humanitarian law. These measures, she believes, are critical in preventing further escalation and fostering a more peaceful environment.
Rochdi also drew attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation, with tens of thousands of individuals still illegally detained. She called for renewed international cooperation and focus on the neglected political process, cautioning against the waning international attention to Syria due to the severe crisis in the region.
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