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UN Inaction Impedes Resolution of Syria Crisis

The passive role of the UN Security Council in the Syria conflict is a major obstacle to the settlement of the nearly six-year-long crisis, a lawmaker said, while a tentative Russia-Turkey ceasefire has survived its first week.

"The active role of UNSC in [observing] the ceasefires is very important. [If one wants this terrible crisis to be solved], the UNSC should take on its strategic task in protecting [global] stability and security," Alireza Rahimi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA on Saturday.

The Syria conflict, which pits the Syrian Army against foreign-backed militants wishing to bring down the government, has become a chessboard for outside powers.

Russia lends its airpower to the anti-terror drive in Syria and Tehran provides Syrian troops with advisory services, while the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar support the terrorists.

The recent truce, which came into effect on Dec. 30, has mostly held but did not completely halt fighting as sporadic shootings are reported from across the country by a joint Russian-Turkish commission monitoring the ceasefire.

The Syrian government accuses opponents of being responsible for violations, while some militants say otherwise.

Last week, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2236 in support of the nationwide ceasefire in Syria.

If the truce continues to hold, representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups will meet in Kazakhstan's capital Astana later this month to discuss a resolution.

Lack of Cohesion

Asked whether the ceasefire could lead to negotiations, Rahimi said even with the survival of the ceasefire and start of peace negotiations, a "very difficult path" awaits participants.

"What makes it difficult is a conflict of interests among big powers, as well as a conflict of interests across the wide spectrum of gunmen fighting government," he said.

The legislator noted that the reason for reported violations of ceasefire is a lack of cohesion among militants.

"Since opponents of the Syrian government are not unified and those who sit at the negotiating table do not represent all of them, after the start of each ceasefire, some militants violate it," he said.

Pointing to Turkey's role as a guarantor of the deal, Rahimi said, "Turkey cannot guarantee the ceasefire, since not all anti-government forces obey it. Besides, Turkish leaders themselves have had not a fixed position on the issue."

The truce covers seven armed groups that are estimated to possess the bulk of the anti-government manpower with more than 60,000 fighters, and does not include Jabhat al-Nusra (recently rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) and the self-styled Islamic State terrorist groups.


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