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Syria calls on UN to punish states undermining truce

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows a front view to the Syrian Foreign Ministry building in Damascus.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has called on the United Nations to adopt “immediate deterrent and punitive measures” against the governments which are trying to block initiatives aimed at ending the conflict in Syria.

In letters submitted to the UN Secretary General and the head of the Security Council on Saturday, the ministry blamed Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar for a recent brutal raid by terrorists in al-Zara village in western province of Hama, urging the bodies to hold the three governments responsible for the crime.

Committing this “appalling massacre goes in line with the series of the systematic terrorist attacks targeting many Syrian cities that are being carried out under direct orders from the regimes of extremism in Riyadh, Ankara and Doha,” said the letters, according to Syria’s official news agency SANA.

Reports on Thursday suggested that militants from two major Syrian militant groups, namely al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, carried out a massive dawn raid on Zara, south of Hama, looted homes, killed children, women and elderly and abducted a number of people.

The Syrian ministry said such brutal attacks are aimed at barring current efforts aimed at stopping the Syrian bloodshed, and urged the UN to take measures against countries and regimes involved in supporting and funding terrorism in Syria.

The letters also demanded clear condemnation of the massacre by the Security Council and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Fighting has surged across Syria despite a cessation of hostilities agreement reached at the end of February and the subsequent interim truces introduced in some locations. The original ceasefire, which was engineered by the United States and Russia, was meant to facilitate peace talks under the auspices of the UN in the Swiss city of Geneva. However, the negotiations ended late in April with no tangible results with both the government and the opposition trading blames on each other for the failure.

Damascus has called for an exemption of the truce to include Ahrar al-Sham as it has been the case for Daesh and Nusra Front. The US, along with regional allies, has opposed the request.

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