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UNSC should condemn crimes committed against Kurds in Syria - Lavrov

Published time: August 07, 2013 08:41
Edited time: August 08, 2013 02:42
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks at a news conference after talks with Ghana's Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh in Moscow, August 7, 2013 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks at a news conference after talks with Ghana's Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh in Moscow, August 7, 2013 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

The UN Security Council must unambiguously condemn the reported killings of Kurds by radical forces, which try to establish an Islamist state in Syria, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Lavrov commented on Wednesday on the reported slaughter of 450 Kurd civilians, including more than 120 children, by the Islamist Al-Nusra Front. 

This was not the first report of such a massacre, but the continued violence is going off the scale. Yesterday there was a new terror attack in Damascus. It must be stopped immediately,” Lavrov said.

The international community must send a clear and coherent and unambiguous message condemning the killing of civilians in Syria by the forces opposing President Bashar Assad, Lavrov said. 

We saw before some Security Council members reluctant to condemn terror attacks in Syria on the grounds that – as cynical as it sounds – those attacks are being carried out by the people fighting against an obsolete regime,” the minister noted. “This position is absolutely unacceptable. No double standards can be applied to terrorism.” 

Lavrov called on the international players to put more effort into convincing Syrians to stop fighting each other and join forces to expel foreign terrorists. This was part of a joint statement by G8 members after the Lough Erne summit in June.

This part somehow gets little mention now. But if we let things go as they go and continue encouraging the Syrian opposition to keep its course in overthrowing the regime, the Syrian government army and the Free Syrian Army will simply exhaust each other, while Al-Nusra Front and other terrorists would benefit from it,” he warned. 

Lavrov added that the terrorists make no secret of their intention to establish an Islamist state in the territory of greater Syria. The delays in redirecting all Syrian military forces against the threat of terrorism are in line with that goal. 

The FM reiterated Russia’s call on other organizers of the proposed international meeting in Geneva, which would be aimed at peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis, to put more pressure on opposition forces.

I hope those with influence over the opposition make them realize that they should think about their country and the fate of their people rather than grabbing power,” he said. 

Earlier unconfirmed reports from Syria said that militants from Al-Nusra Front slaughtered 450 civilians in the historically-Kurdish northern Syria. The Islamists have been engaged in intensive warfare with the Kurdish militia, taking over some Kurdish towns.

Syrian Kurds have tried not to be dragged into the Syrian Civil War, distancing themselves from both governmental and opposition forces and relying on their own resources to protect and govern themselves. Al-Nusra Front, which is an off-shoot of an Iraq-based Al-Qaeda branch, wants to capture Kurdish territories, which they believe must become part of an Islamist state they seek to establish.

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