U.S. must stop backing terrorists, occupying northeastern Syria: diplomat

TEHRAN- Iran’s deputy permanent representative to the UN urges an end to the U.S. occupation of Syria and its backing for terrorism, stating that the U.S. has illegally stationed military personnel in Syria’s energy-rich northeastern region under the guise of combating terrorism.

The comments were made by Zahra Ershadi on Monday during a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria.

“The United States’ presence in northeastern Syria is clearly a violation of the UN Charter, international law, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria,” Ershadi said. “This is done under the guise of battling terrorism.”

“It is the United States that is working with the terrorist groups in Syria and destabilizing peace and security in the region. The United States must cease its violation of international law and the UN Charter by ending its continuing support for terrorist groups and occupation of the northeastern part of Syria,” she remarked. 

The Iranian envoy urged the Security Council to uphold its Charter mandate and insist that the United States respect its duties under international law.

The Pentagon claims that the U.S. military has deployed troops and equipment to northeastern Syria to prevent Daesh militants from seizing control of the region’s oilfields.

The deployment, according to Damascus, is intended to pillage the nation’s natural riches. Donald Trump, a former U.S. president, acknowledged that American military were in the Arab nation for its oil on many occasions.

Ershadi further criticized the Israeli regime for its persistent violations of Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as for its terrorist assaults that target civilians and infrastructure in the war-torn country.

In line with international law and the United Nations Charter, she said, “We strongly condemn the ongoing Israeli military operations in Syria, especially on civilian infrastructure, and we accept Syria’s legitimate right to self-defense.”

“The continuation of such criminal acts will destabilize and exacerbate tensions in the region,” Ershadi stressed.

The Iranian diplomat criticized the UN Security Council’s double standard and asked the council to categorically denounce Israel’s invasion of Syria and its terrorist activities.

The distribution of humanitarian aid is crucial, and political conditions shouldn’t be permitted to impede it from reaching the people in need, she added, expressing worry over the humanitarian situation in Syria. “But all of this has to be done with utmost regard for Syria’s national unity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.”

Iran, Ershadi continued, supports the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2642 (2022) and views it as a crucial step in addressing the pressing needs of Syria.

“The resolution specifically demands for quicker recovery initiatives and more openness in humanitarian operations. Additionally, it highlights how crucial it is to improve cross-line distribution across Syria,” the Iranian diplomat said.

Ershadi also pointed to the significance of early recovery initiatives in Syria, saying it is emphasized in the UN’s first report on the implementation of the resolution.

According to the report, inadequate access to power has affected the provision of crucial humanitarian services and other response operations, such as clinic services, food production, and water delivery.

Given the gravity of the situation, Ershadi said early recovery initiatives, including energy projects, are important to reestablishing access to basic services and cannot be impacted by unilateral restrictions.

The female diplomat emphasized the need to lift unilateral sanctions on Syria, which are preventing the resolution’s implementation.

Ershadi reaffirmed Tehran’s unwavering stance that the Syrian issue must be addressed peacefully and in compliance with the norms of international law, notably the complete observance of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries.

The occupation must stop, she continued, and Syria’s complete sovereignty must be reinstated in order to realize this objective.

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