Saudis push UN to condemn intervention in Syria

Saudi Arabia pressures UN human rights committee to condemn intervention by Iran and Russia in Syria

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, November 2014

Saudi Arabia has prepared a draft resolution to push the General Assembly of the United Nations Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee - referred to as the Third Committee - to condemn Iran and Russia's interventions in Syria, Reuters has reported.

The resolution is co-sponsored by other Arab nations including Qatar as well as the United States, Britain, France and other Western allies.

The resolution, which was presented at the Third Committee of the assembly on Tuesday, brought complaints from delegations of the Iranian and Syrian regimes.

The draft asks the UN to "strongly condemn all attacks against the Syrian moderate opposition and calls for their immediate cessation, given that such attacks benefit so-called DAESH and other terrorist groups, such as al Nusra Front," without naming Russia.

The Syria resolution and similar declarations regarding Iran, North Korea and Myanmar are expected to be voted on as early as next week, diplomats said. This will take place after the Vienna talks on Saturday.

Around 20 countries and international organisations will hold talks for a peace plan in Syria on Saturday.  

Russia has been bombing the Syrian opposition for over a month. Although it claims to be targeting DAESH, the Western states have said the large majority of the bombings have so far mostly targeted moderate rebel groups, some of which the West supports.

A Syrian regime delegate has said to the UN that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have no right to lecture on the topic of human rights and called the resolution an attempt to “politicise” the human rights situation in Syria.

The resolution says it condemns "all foreign terrorist fighters ... and foreign forces fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime, particularly the al Quds Brigades [Palestine], the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [Iran] and militia groups, such as Hezbollah [Lebanon]."

The Iranian delegate repeated remarks of the Syrian delegate and complained that Iranian corps were mentioned alongside “terrorist” groups.

The resolution also demands all foreign forces in Syria leave the country immediately.

It also condemns DAESH and other militant groups over abuses of human rights, but mostly takes aim at Bashar al Assad, expressing "grave concern at the disproportionate use of force by the Syrian authorities against its civilians."

About 250,000 people, many of whom were civilians, have been killed in the over four-year-long conflict in Syria.

TRTWorld and agencies