Terrorist groups must be “crushed” in NW Syria – Wu Haitao

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US-Airstrike-in-Syria
US-Airstrike-in-Syria

A Chinese UN envoy on Thursday stressed that the terrorist groups in northwest Syria must be “resolutely crushed” in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions and international law.

Addressing the Security Council, Wu Haitao, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, said the complex situation in northwest Syria is both a security issue and a humanitarian issue, traceable to the root of the terrorist forces’ control of the Idlib area.

“The listed terrorist organizations must be resolutely crushed in accordance with council resolutions and international law by unified standards,” he said.

In this regard, he proposed that weapons collected in the course of combating terrorist organizations should be investigated for the origin, and the channels for supplying weapons to terrorist organizations should be cut off.

For foreign terrorist fighters, he said, a database should be established to lay the foundation for addressing this problem, and measures should be taken to prevent them from fleeing to other countries and regions to continue their criminal activities.

Before Wu spoke, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Syria Geir Pedersen stressed that many fighters in the war-torn country sought refuge in Idlib, and terrorist groups and foreign fighters are a major force in Idlib.

“Their presence and influence in the area is unacceptable and a major challenge, first and foremost to the civilian population of Idlib itself and also in a wider sense for Syria and for regional and international security,” he said.

The UN envoy warned that a continued all-out military approach will not solve this problem, and cautioned against the risk of dispersal of foreign terrorist fighters and ongoing insurgency as a result of such an approach.

Nevertheless, he said the question of foreign fighters needs to “squarely tackled.”

While noting the provision of support to “internationally proscribed terrorist groups” needs to be further restricted, he stressed that any use of force against those terrorist groups should be carefully targeted to avoid spillover casualties. Enditem

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