The Edition


Syria says US seeking 'failure' of truce, backing IS

19 September 2016, MVT 09:35
19 September 2016, MVT 09:35

Syria's UN ambassador accused the United States on Sunday of seeking the failure of a ceasefire in his country and backing the Islamic State group with a US-led coalition strike on Syrian soldiers.

"The objective of this US aggression is to bring about the failure of the truce agreed between Russia and the United States," said Bashar Jaafari, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, speaking to journalists through an interpreter at a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Venezuela.

The US-Russian deal to halt a five-year war that has killed more than 300,000 people is on the brink of collapse after US-led airstrikes killed scores of Syrian soldiers on Saturday and a barrage of bombing raids hit rebel-held districts in the city of Aleppo on Sunday.

The Pentagon has admitted US-led pilots may have hit Syrian government forces, but it said they believed they were targeting an IS position.

In an address to the summit, Jaafari called the strikes "evidence of support by the United States and its allies for Daesh (IS) and other armed terrorist groups."

He said the strikes enabled IS to "immediately" take over the army position on a strategic hill near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.

"That clearly proves there is a link," he said.

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, and the United States, which leads a coalition fighting IS in the region, had heated exchanges over the fraying of the ceasefire at an emergency UN Security Council meeting Saturday.

The meeting produced "zero" results, Jaafari said, because the US, Britain and France refused to "take measures" to atone for Saturday's air strikes.

"US policy, in general terms, has committed dozens of similar mistakes," he told journalists.

"The United States attacks and violates countries' sovereignty with lies."

He said Syria planned to pressure for further Security Council meetings to hold Washington accountable.

"This won't stop here. Our friends on the Security Council, China and Russia, won't leave the matter at that," he said.

"US aggression must be dealt with immediately to avoid the spread of fighting in the region and put a stop to American hypocrisy and lies."

Porlamar, Venezuela | AFP |