UN / SYRIA HUMANITARIAN

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24-Oct-2019 00:03:35
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ursula Mueller, told the Security Council that since the beginning of military operations by the Turkish Armed Forces in north-east Syria, “civilian’ casualties and damage to critical civilian infrastructure” have been reported. She said, “almost 180,000 people, including close to 80,000 children, have fled south from the border areas between Turkey and Syria.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SYRIA HUMANITARIAN
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DATELINE: 24 OCTOBER 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

24 OCTOBER 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, Assistant Secretary-General Ursula Muller sits down
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“Since the beginning of military operations by the Turkish Armed Forces and allied non-state armed groups in north-east Syria earlier this month, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has received concerning reports of civilian casualties and damage to critical civilian infrastructure. The military operation severely impacted the humanitarian situation.”
5. Med shot, delegates
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“The hostilities have triggered large population movements. In the last two weeks, almost 180,000
people, including close to 80,000 children, have fled south from the border areas between Turkey and Syria. People must be allowed to seek safety and move freely.”
7. Med shot, delegates
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Barkin, Alternate Representative of the United States on the Security Council:
“The October 17 joint statement paved the way for a permanent ceasefire. We are hopeful, based on assurances from Turkish and Syrian Democratic Forces authorities that the permanent ceasefire will be honored, civilian lives will be protected, and the hard-fought territorial defeat of ISIS will be preserved. This is a solution that will save lives and contribute to long-term stability in the region.”
9. Med shot, delegates
10. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“As we’ve repeatedly stated, we understand the aspirations of Turkey to adopt measures the aim of which is to uphold its own national security. At the same time, it is important to understand that problems plaguing north-eastern Syria did not emerge yesterday nor today. The root cause for destabilization in the area beyond the Euphrates is the illegal occupation of this area and the perilous demographic engineering experiment that was set out there in an attempt to pit the Kurdish against the Arab population.”
11. Med shot, delegates
12. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Jaafari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“It is unfortunate that Mrs Ursula Muller and Mr Khiari did not condemn the Turkish aggression. It was referred to as the Turkish military operation in the north-east of Syria, as if it is the north-east of Venus, or Mars, and not the north-east of the territories of a country that is a founding member of this organization. A sovereign country according to international law.”
13. Med shot, Muller and delegates
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Feridun H. Sinirlioglu, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations:
“From the very first day, the objectives of the Operation Peace Spring have been clear: To eliminate the long-standing existential terror threat along our border with Syria, to enforce Syria's territorial integrity and unity, to protect the local population and create an environment conducive to the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Syrians to their homes. The operation was conducted in full respect of international and international humanitarian law. It only targeted terrorists and their hideouts, weapons and vehicles. We took all necessary measures to prevent any harm to civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure.”
15. Wide shot, Council

STORYLINE:

Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ursula Mueller, today (24 Oct) told the Security Council that since the beginning of military operations by the Turkish Armed Forces in north-east Syria, “civilian casualties and damage to critical civilian infrastructure” have been reported.

Muller said the military operation has “severely impacted the humanitarian situation.”

She told the Council that “the hostilities have triggered large population movements” and in the last two weeks, “almost 180,000 people, including close to 80,000 children, have fled south from the border areas between Turkey and Syria.”

The humanitarian official stressed that “people must be allowed to seek safety and move freely.”

United States representative Michael Barkin told the Council that the 17 October US and Turkey joint statement had “paved the way for a permanent ceasefire.” He said, “we are hopeful, based on assurances from Turkish and Syrian Democratic Forces authorities that the permanent ceasefire will be honored, civilian lives will be protected, and the hard-fought territorial defeat of ISIS will be preserved.”

This, he said, “is a solution that will save lives and contribute to long-term stability in the region.”

Russian Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, for his part, recognized “the aspirations of Turkey to adopt measures the aim of which is to uphold its own national security.”

Nebenzia said, the root cause for destabilization in the area beyond the Euphrates is the illegal occupation of this area and the perilous demographic engineering experiment that was set out there in an attempt to pit the Kurdish against the Arab population.”

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told the Council it was “unfortunate” that Muller and Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific, Khaled Khiari “did not condemn the Turkish aggression. It was referred to as the Turkish military operation in the north-east of Syria, as if it is the north-east of Venus, or Mars, and not the north-east of the territories of a country that is a founding member of this organization. A sovereign country according to international law.”

Finally, Turkish Ambassador Feridun H. Sinirlioglu said, “from the very first day, the objectives of the Operation Peace Spring have been clear: To eliminate the long-standing existential terror threat along our border with Syria, to enforce Syria's territorial integrity and unity, to protect the local population and create an environment conducive to the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Syrians to their homes.”

The operation, he said, “was conducted in full respect of international and international humanitarian law” and “only targeted terrorists and their hideouts, weapons and vehicles,” taking “all necessary measures to prevent any harm to civilians and damage to civilian infrastructure.”
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