Visit our new website:

Syrian opposition rejects UN’s plan of Idlib evacuation

  • Fri, 31 Aug 2018 08:03
Thu, 2018-08-30 22:45

JEDDAH: The UN called on Russia, Iran and Turkey on Thursday to forestall a battle in Syria’s Idlib province, which could affect millions of civilians and see both militants and the regime potentially using chlorine gas as a chemical weapon.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said that there was a high concentration of foreign fighters in Idlib, including an estimated 10,000 militants designated by the UN as terrorists.

He offered to travel to Idlib himself to help ensure that civilians could leave through a humanitarian corridor amid fears of full-scale military operations in the area.

“I am once again prepared ... personally and physically to get involved myself, with the government cooperation this time ... to ensure such a temporary corridor would be feasible and guaranteed for the people so that they can then return to their own places once this is over,” de Mistura said.

The Syrian opposition swiftly rejected De Mistura’s offer. Its spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi told Arab News: “I cannot understand this suggestion by de Mistura about corridors. In the past, the destination for war-displaced people was Idlib. De Mistura himself said that there would be no other Idlib. How could he suggest a corridor now? Where would over 3 million people go? Turkey would close its doors. Could they go to another planet?”

The only solution to this, Al-Aridi said, is to stop “this devilish and criminal act” against civilians.

“Is it the UN’s specialization to find corridors for the Syrians who have been thrown out of their homes by this brutal regime and its supporters?” he asked.

The Turks and the Russians are still discussing ways to get Al-Nusra to dissolve itself, Al-Aridi said, adding: “Russia is saying that there are parties who want a political settlement on the part of Al-Fasaail (another armed group).”

Al-Aridi said that Idlib itself is a de-escalation area and Russia, along with Iran and Turkey, is a co-signer to that. “If anything happens, it would be another proof that Russia doesn’t honor any promise or any word it utters or paper it signs.”

He said that the “storm” that de Mistura warned about could be avoided by getting rid of the source of the tension — “the regime of oppression and aggression” in Damascus.

Al-Aridi questioned the figure of 10,000 terrorists mentioned by de Mistura. “We don’t know how Mr. de Mistura calculated this number. It is not his job to decide who is a terrorist and who is not. All we know is there are over 3 million civilians in Idlib and there is a party that doesn’t care about them — the regime and its backers.”

Main category: 
Syria will ‘go all the way’ in Idlib offensive as UN envoy offers to help civilians leaveAir raid warning tech gives Syrians life-saving minutes Middle-East


Related Stories

Britain’s opposition Labour backs new election over Brexit impasse
  • Mon, 24 Sep 2018 01:04

Author: ReutersID: 1537701602552670700Sun, 2018-09-23 11:17LIVERPOOL: Britain’s opposition Labour Party prefers a new election to a second...

Boat carrying Syrian refugees sinks off Lebanon, most rescued
  • Sat, 22 Sep 2018 23:54

Author: ReutersID: 1537600921953823600Sat, 2018-09-22 07:20 BEIRUT: A boat with around three dozen Syrian refugees on board sank off the co...

Turkey, Russia Agree on Borders of Idlib Demilitarized Zone
  • Sat, 22 Sep 2018 02:33

Ankara and Moscow reached an agreement on Friday on the borders of the demilitarized zone to be set up in Syria’s Idlib region, announced the Turkis...

Thousands head home in Syria’s Idlib after deal, says monitor
  • Thu, 20 Sep 2018 05:03

Author: Wed, 2018-09-19 23:31 BEIRUT, MOSCOW: Thousands of residents of Syria’s last major opposition bastion Idlib headed home within 48 hour...

Last stand: Syria’s rebel Idlib prepares for a losing battle
  • Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:15

Author: APID: 1537162475164763200Mon, 2018-09-17 (All day) BEIRUT: They dug trenches around towns, reinforced caves for cover and put up sa...

Erekat: US will never present Middle East peace plan
  • Sun, 16 Sep 2018 13:32

Author: ReutersID: 1537042269863048200Sat, 2018-09-15 23:10 JERICHO: The US will not present its long-awaited plan for Israeli-Palestinian ...

Saudi Arabia Stresses Commitment to UNICEF to Achieve 2030 Strategic Plan
  • Sat, 15 Sep 2018 18:33

Saudi Arabia stressed that it will continue to work with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to achieve its 2023 strategic plan. The plan is ...

UN’s Yemen envoy pushes for new peace talks as fighting continues
  • Sat, 15 Sep 2018 05:40

Author: AFPID: 1536944517984084200Fri, 2018-09-14 16:23 SANAA: The UN’s Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths has met the country’s Houthi rebel...

UN shares locations of Idlib hospitals and schools
  • Fri, 14 Sep 2018 12:09

Author: Thu, 2018-09-13 23:07 GENEVA: UN officials have notified Russia, Turkey and the US of the GPS coordinates of 235 schools, hospitals and ...

Turkey court rejects plea to open Hagia Sophia for Islamic prayer
  • Thu, 13 Sep 2018 23:58

Author: AFPID: 1536846380085192700Thu, 2018-09-13 12:59 ISTANBUL: Turkey’s top court on Thursday turned down a plea to open the Hagia Sof...

Donald Trump rejects Hurricane Maria death toll in Puerto Rico
  • Thu, 13 Sep 2018 22:25

Author: By CATHERINE LUCEY | APID: 1536844184284971600Thu, 2018-09-13 (All day) WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump is rejecting the widely ...

US lacks leverage as assault on Syrian enclave looms
  • Sun, 09 Sep 2018 14:22

Author: Sun, 2018-09-09 00:43 WASHINGTON: Despite dire US warnings and fears of a humanitarian disaster, the Trump administration has little lev...