Syria's conflict created "fertile ground" for radical armed groups

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Jeffrey Feltman (centre), Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

The prolongation of the conflict in Syria has created fertile ground for the growth of radical armed groups, including those affiliated with Al Qaeda.

That's what Jeffrey Feltman, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs said on Monday during his regular briefing to the Security Council on the Middle East.

The recent surge in violence in Iraq has vividly demonstrated that the Syrian conflict can have devastating impact on the neighboring countries and far beyond, he noted.

Of late, terrorist attacks have been carried out in the region by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its sister organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"Ending the violence is the most immediate priority. It is essential to stem the flow of arms and fighters pouring into the country, and to this end, to impose an arms embargo. Local ceasefire arrangements, however imperfect, are taking place and allow us to deliver much needed aid and curtail the levels of violence. We should turn these "war agreements" into "peace agreements".

Most recently, he remarked, such an arrangement was reached in Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus between the authorities and armed groups over the weekend.

Mr Feltman also called for the end of sieges in Syria, as well as "unrestricted humanitarian access" inside the country and across borders.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’21″



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