UN envoy stresses need for political military solution to Syrian crisis

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Staffan de Mistura, the special UN envoy for Syria, on Wednesday stressed the need for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, saying that "there is no stable, permanent military solution" conflict, which has been going on for more than five years in the war-torn Middle East country.

In his briefing to the UN Security Council by videoconference from Geneva on the situation in Aleppo, a city in northern Syria, de Mistura said that over the past few days, thousands of civilians have fled from neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo, with numbers growing by the hour.

He said that there is evidence that a military logic is prevailing on both sides. But he said that "there is no stable, permanent military solution and he stressed the need for a political solution to the crisis."

Painting a dire picture of the situation on the ground, de Mistura told the Security Council that the "humanitarian tragedy" in Aleppo is only deepening as both ground and air assaults against the eastern half of the iconic city have intensified over the last two weeks, forcing an estimated 25,000 from their homes since Saturday.

"It is likely that thousands more will flee should fighting continue to spread and further intensify over the coming days," he said, adding that he had strongly suggested that Ali Al-Za'tari, the UN humanitarian coordinator and resident coordinator in Syria, together with international members from the UN Country Team, should head to Aleppo as soon as possible to rejoin national aid workers to assist the civilian population on both the city's east and west sides.

And while the Wednesday council meeting was focused on Aleppo, he underscored that the war continues elsewhere -- Idlib, Hama, al-Waer, Homs, north of Latakia, Western Ghouta, northwest of Damascus, and Eastern Ghouta.

"Each deserves its own description, but the underlying theme remains the same: the continued dominance of military over political strategies, and the brutal price being paid by civilians in the process," he said.

Also briefing the 15-nation council, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Stephen O'Brien, said that the parties to the conflict in Syria have shown time and again that they are willing to take any action or do any deed to secure military advantage even if it means killing, maiming or besieging civilians into submission in the process.

"There are no limits or red lines left to cross," said O'Brien, who is also the UN emergency relief coordinator.

Over the last four days, numerous civilians have reportedly been killed, he said, adding that he received a report saying that scores of people were killed in a single airstrike on Wednesday morning.

O'Brien said that some 20,000 people have been displaced in recent days and it is likely that thousands more people will flee should fighting further spread and intensify over the coming days.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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