UN / SYRIA

16-May-2018 00:02:55
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said recent reports of fighting in that country involving Israel and Iran demonstrated “a troubling trajectory of an ever more frequent and ever more intense international confrontations over Syria, unprecedented since 1973.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SYRIA
TRT: 02:55
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 16 MAY 2018, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

16 MAY 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“We are not in a position to independently verify every aspect of these incidents, but frankly, even an incomplete picture demonstrates a troubling trajectory of an ever more frequent and ever more intense international confrontations over Syria, unprecedented since 1973.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“If civilians and fighters are simply just funnelled into northern Syria, mostly Idlib, then this might only prove to be a postponement of a further conflict affecting many more people – and I will refer to it later on. Hence, the importance of keeping a very close eye on future developments in the Idlib Province.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy for Syria, United Nations:
“If we see a Ghouta scenario in Idlib – and here comes the point again in Idlib – this could be six times – I repeat six times – worse, affecting 2.3 million people there, of which half of them are already IDPs and who will have nowhere else to go because there is no other place to go once they are up there.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Kelley A. Eckels-Currie, United States Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council:
“The fact is that Iran has installed offensive rocket and missile systems in Syria aimed at Israel. Iran has introduced these threats that were not present in Syria before the conflict. They are now. Iran, together with Hizballah and other militias, is taking advantage of Syrian territory to establish bases and training camps. They are moving ever closer to Israel. The United States calls on Iran, Hizballah, and their other proxies to take no further provocative steps. If they do, Iran will bear full responsibility for its actions.”
10. Wide shot, Syrian ambassador joining meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mounzer Mounzer, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations:
“What the Syrian Arab Military forces have achieved, in cooperation with our friends and allies, through liberating Eastern Ghouta and the Southern part of Damascus from terrorism has made the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic, Damascus, and its surroundings safe. Furthermore, the departure of terrorists from the Northern suburbs of Homs and Southern suburbs of Hama, was the fruit of the Syrian Arab Army’s achievements in combating terrorism, in cooperation with our friends and allies. Syria reaffirms in this connection that it will continue combating terrorism to liberate every inch of its land either from terrorism or from countries violating its sovereignty.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said recent reports of fighting in that country involving Israel and Iran demonstrated “a troubling trajectory of an ever more frequent and ever more intense international confrontations over Syria, unprecedented since 1973.”

Speaking to the Security Council via teleconference, de Mistura reminded Council members of the Secretary-General’s appeal for agreement on an accountability mechanism to deal with allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria.

The Special Envoy said the evacuations of Eastern Ghouta was being repeated in eastern Qalamoun, southern Damascus, and northern rural Homs. He said if civilians and fighters are “simply just funnelled into northern Syria, mostly Idlib, then this might only prove to be a postponement of a further conflict affecting many more people – and I will refer to it later on. Hence, the importance of keeping a very close eye on future developments in the Idlib Province.” De Mistura warned that if the situation in Idlib becomes similar to what we haves seen in eastern Ghouta, it could be “six times worse”, affecting more than 2.3 million people half of whom are already international displaced. He told the Council that the discussions held among guarantor states in Astana this week included efforts to avoid a worst-case scenario in Idlib.

United States deputy ambassador Kelley Currie said Iran’s rocket attack against Israel showed the true objectives of its presence in Syria. She said Iran “has installed offensive rocket and missile systems in Syria aimed at Israel” which were not present Syria before the conflict. She added, “Iran, together with Hizballah and other militias, is taking advantage of Syrian territory to establish bases and training camps; they are moving ever closer to Israel.” Currie called on Iran, Hizballah, and their “other proxies” not to take further “provocative steps” adding, “if they do, Iran will bear full responsibility for its actions.”

Currie stressed that the Security Council had an important choice to make, either to stay quiet and watch as Iran builds up the infrastructure to create another Hizballah in Syria, or speak up and take steps to put real pressure on Iran to stop.

Syrian deputy ambassador Mounzer Mounzer said Israel’s continued aggression could not have happened if it were not for unlimited support by the United States. He said Syria stood ready to face any aggression to protect its independence and sovereignty adding that such attacks would not stop the Government from furthering its achievements in fight against terrorism. Mouzer said, “What the Syrian Arab Military forces have achieved, in cooperation with our friends and allies, through liberating Eastern Ghouta and the Southern part of Damascus from terrorism has made the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic, Damascus, and its surroundings safe; furthermore, the departure of terrorists from the Northern suburbs of Homs and Southern suburbs of Hama, was the fruit of the Syrian Arab Army’s achievements in combating terrorism, in cooperation with our friends and allies. Syria reaffirms in this connection that it will continue combating terrorism to liberate every inch of its land either from terrorism or from countries violating its sovereignty.”
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