Some UN Deconfliction System’s Facilities in Syria Used by Terrorists

 A humanitarian convoy organized by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) arrives in Homs Konstantin Machulsky/TASSA humanitarian convoy organized by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) arrives in Homs © Konstantin Machulsky/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, June 29. /TASS/. Russia has decided to quit the United Nations system of humanitarian deconfliction in Syria because some of this system’s facilities were used by terrorists, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on Monday at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

UN Under-Secretary General Mark Lowcock told the meeting that Russia had withdrawn from the humanitarian deconfliction mechanism on June 23.

“This mechanism operated on a voluntary basis and was not fixed by any Security Council resolutions or other legally binding documents,” Nebenzya said. “Our probes repeatedly demonstrated that some of the deconfliction facilities were actually used as terrorists’ headquarters, so they could not be granted a humanitarian status.”

Russia rules out any possibility of strikes at civilian facilities in Syria, despite its quitting the United Nations deconfliction mechanism, Vasily Nebenzya vowed.

“We suggest that from now on the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs settle the issue of deconfliction directly with the Syrian authorities. It would be right,” he said. “Russia will stay committed to its liabilities under the international humanitarian law. We have repeatedly stressed that Russia’s aerospace forces use an efficient target verification system, which excludes any possibility of attacks on civilians facilities.”

The Russian diplomat recalled that the United Nations had launched an investigation in July 2019 because of presumable violations within the humanitarian deconfliction mechanism. “The probe results have confirmed the mechanism’s drawbacks,” Nebenzya noted, adding that the Russian Defense Ministry was conducting its own investigation to check the conclusions of the UN commission. “It will derive its own conclusions and we will share them with you,” he added.