Al-Moallem at UN General Assembly: 360,000 Foreign Fighters entered Syria since 2011
nsnbc : Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign and Expatriates Affairs Minister Walid Al-Moallem addressed the 71st UN General Assembly in a frank address aimed at righting the misrepresentation of the war in and against Syria.
Al-Moallem noted that terrorism, an issue that had repeatedly been discussed at the UN General Assembly, has continued to grow and to cause death and destruction as it rages unabated across the world.
Al-Moallem noted that the blood of Syrians was not enough to quench terrorisms blood thirst and that it had spilled the blood of citizens of many other countries as well. He stressed that this also was true about the blood of citizens in those countries who have supported and sponsored terrorism. He stressed that it is innocent people who are now paying for the mistakes of their governments. He stressed that supporting terrorism was a shortsighted policy.
Al-Moallem stressed that Syrian people, for five years, regardless of their affiliations, have paid dearly for the crimes committed by terrorists who have shed their blood and undermined their security and livelihood. He added:
“Terrorism has spared no one, targeting schools, hospitals, places of worship, and infrastructure. Everybody knows full and well that terrorism would not have spread to my country if it hadn’t been for the external support of well-known countries. It is no longer a secret that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have played a part in this, promoting their Wahhabist, Takfirist ideology and their death fatwa that has noting to do with Islam”.
Al-Moallem stressed that they have bragged about sending thousands of mercenaries into Syria and the fact that they equipped them with the most sophisticated weapons. He continued:
“Meanwhile, Turkey has opened its border to let in tens of thousands of terrorists from all around the world, and has provided them with logistical support and training camps under the supervision of Turkish and western intelligence. It has even supplied these terrorists with direct military support as is the case in Idlib, Aleppo, and rural Latakia.”
Al-Moallem noted that he would like to refer the members of the General Assembly to a study, published seven months ago, by a German Federal Institute for Studies. He continued:
“According to the study, more than 360,000 foreign fighters from 83 countries, have entered Syria since April 2011. By the end of 2015 the Syrian army was able to kill 95,000 of those while 120,000 returned home or traveled to other countries.”
Al-Moallem stressed that Syria is combating terrorism on behalf of the whole world, because every time that a terrorist is killed in Syria is spares the lives of many innocent people who could have died in a terrorist act, carried out by the same terrorist, upon returning to his country. He continued:
“Anyone who tries to distort this fact must be held responsible for the spread of terrorism and the increasing number of victims. Our valiant army deserves to be commended and supported. It must not be the target of schemes and lies. … The terrorist campaign against my country is taking place in full view of a polarized world. There are those who have chosen to support international law and the principle of the Charter (UN Charter), while others have decided to turn a blind eye to the truth, and to support, finance and arm terrorists under the false pretext that departs from logic and reason”.
Al-Moallem stressed that they chose to refer to these terrorists as “moderate armed opposition” even though there is irrefutable evidence that these groups have committed against Syrians crimes and massacres that are no less barbaric than those committed by ISIL or Al-Qaeda. Al-Moallem continued:
“Some consider people who take up arms against the state as legitimate opposition as long as they are in Syria, while they exact same people, on any other day, and in any other country, would be considered terrorists, or at least as outlaws. Despite all of this, the people, the army, and the government, will not relent in their fight against terrorism. They are determined more than ever before, to eliminate terrorism where ever it exists in their country and to rebuild a better Syria; because they know that their homeland will cease to exist if the terrorists and their backers are victorious”.
Al-Moallem stressed that the confidence in victory is even greater now that the Syrian army is making progress with the support of Russia, Iran, and the Lebanese National Resistance (Hezbollah) which he described as “the true friends of the Syrian people”. He stressed that he hopes that other countries would soon wake up and “realize the danger that threatens us all”. With regards to international anti-terrorism efforts, Al-Moallem said:
“We have always welcomed all international efforts to counter terrorism in Syria, but we stress, once again, the need to coordinate such efforts with the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Arab Army, that has been combating terrorism on the ground for more than five years. Without such coordination and action would be considered as a breach of sovereignty, a flagrant interference, and a violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter. Without such coordination any action will fall short of achieving real results and will even make matters worse. In this regard the Syrian government condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the attack launched by American warplanes on a Syrian Army site in the vicinity of the Deir Ez-Zor Airport, on September 17.
Al-Moallem stressed that this attack allowed ISIL to gain control of the site. He added that the Syrian government holds the United States fully responsible for this aggression. He added that facts show that this was an intentional attack and not an error, even if the United States claims otherwise. Al-Moallem stressed that this incident clearly proves that the United States and its allies are complicit with ISIL and other terrorist organizations. Al-Moallem continued, commenting on the recent invasion of Syrian territory by Turkey’s armed forces accompanied by the so-called Free Syrian Army and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, saying:
“We also reiterate our condemnation of Turkish incursion into Syrian territory under the pretext of countering terrorism. This is a flagrant aggression and must be stopped immediately. Terrorism cannot be fought by replacing one terrorist organization with another. One cannot but wonder, how can it be that the State that has been the main point of entry of weapons and terrorists into Syria claims to be fighting terrorism. How can there be genuine and effective counter-terrorism cooperation while relevant Security Council resolutions remain dead letters”.
Al-Moallem stressed that the Syrian government, since 2011, has underpinned that any genuine solution must follow two parallel tracks, counter-terrorism and a political track to an intra-Syrian dialog that allows Syrians to determine the future of their country without foreign interference. He continued:
“All solutions dictated by the outside are categorically rejected by the Syrian people. Likewise, any political solution will not succeed in the absence of the necessary foundations and conditions for its implementation, including intensified counter-terrorism efforts and progress in the national reconciliation process which has proven successful in a number of areas around Syria. Despite all the hurdles created by regional and western States, those States that decide on behalf of the self-proclaimed Syrian opposition, despite all of these hurdles, we have always been open to a political track that would stem the bloodshed and end the prolonged suffering of Syrians. We reiterate our commitment to move forward with the Geneva track under the auspices of the United Nations”.
Al-Moallem reiterated Syria’s respect for a political solution but stressed that such a solution also must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as the unity of its people. Going into greater detail about such a solution, Al-Moallem noted:
“It should begin with establishing a government of national unity, comprising representatives from the government and the opposition and all its factions, and thus, with creating a constitution drafting committee. One the new constitution is approved by the Syrians, with a referendum, parliamentary elections would follow, and a new government would be formed under the constitution.”
Al-Moallem also denounced the abuse of the suffering of Syrian people for political gains and posturing, particularly by those who are supporting terrorism. He stressed that no one is more committed to ending the suffering of Syrians and to providing them with a life of dignity than the Syrian government. He stressed that the government considers this as its duty, and not as a favor. Al-Moallem noted that unilateral actions, including sanctions, have adversely effected the Syrian government’s capability to alleviate suffering. Commenting “on a different kind of terrorism”, Al-Moallem commented on the role Israel plays in the region, saying:
“Israel has occupied a precious part of our Syrian land in the Syrian Golan (Golan heights) since July 4, 1967. Our Syrian people in the occupied Golan continue to suffer as a result of Israel’s oppressive and aggressive practices. These practices are no longer confined to the occupied Golan and are currently affecting the security and lives in the southern part of the country. Israel is intervening militarily and directly, to assist in every way possible, the terrorist organizations operating in that area. Syria calls on the international community to put an effective end to all these practices and to compel Israel to implement relevant United nations resolutions, particularly Resolution 497 on the occupied Syrian Golan. The United Nations should also compel Israel to allow the Palestinian people their inalienable rights, including the establishment of their independent State with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of Palestinian refugees to their land, in accordance with internationally recognized resolutions.”
Al-Moallem affirmed that Israel’s policies not only threaten Syria and Palestine bu the whole region, especially given Israel’s nuclear arsenal. He underpinned that Syria has stressed, time and again, the need to compel Israel to sign the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons as well as other treaties on weapons of mass destruction. Al-Moallem also stressed the need to subject Israel’s nuclear facilities to the oversight of the IAEA.
F/AK – nsnbc 25.09.2016