Moscow calls for the urgent deployment of a mission of the UN or the International Committee of the Red Cross to assess the situation in Syria’s Raqqa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.
“It is also necessary to urgently dispatch a joint UN-ICRC assessment mission to Raqqa, which has been bombed to rubble and left to the mercy of fate by the coalition, with mine fields uncleared and infrastructure fully devastated,” Mr. Lavrov said at the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
On Monday, Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, said that Russia was proposing setting up a UN-led international humanitarian commission to assess the situation in Raqqa.
Mr. Lavrov said militants in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta are hindering the supply of humanitarian aid to this area and the evacuation of civilians by continuing shelling Damascus.
“The people of Syria today face the direst humanitarian crisis.
“UN Security Council Resolution 2401 has established a framework for all parties to agree upon conditions to alleviate the plight of civilians throughout the territory of the country.
“Russia together with the Syrian Government has already announced the establishment of humanitarian corridors in Eastern Ghouta.
“Now it is the turn to act for militants entrenched there, who still continue shelling Damascus, blocking aid deliveries and the evacuation of those wishing to leave, as well as for their sponsors,” Mr. Lavrov said.
He also urged all the countries to avoid dividing terrorists into the “bad” and “good”.
He noted that some UN Human Rights Council were unwilling to openly condemn international terrorism in all forms under the pretext of upholding freedom of expression.
“The manifest unwillingness of some Council members to unequivocally condemn international terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations under the pretext of upholding freedom of expression is striking.
“We believe that dividing terrorists into the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ones is unacceptable, especially when it is done depending on the extremists’ proclaimed objectives or sources of financing,”
The minister added that Russia would continue fighting against such double standards.
“Russia will continue to persistently fight against this vicious practice of double standards, including by providing support to the Syrian Army in their efforts to finally eradicate the terrorist threat,” Mr. Lavrov stressed.
He urged the U.S.-led international coalition to ensure humanitarian access to the areas in Syria under its control, including Rukban refugee camp and the area surrounding al-Tanf.
“We call upon the members of so-called American coalition to ensure the same humanitarian access to the areas in Syria under their control, including the Rukban refugee camp and the entire territory surrounding al-Tanf.”