The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt):
The members of the Security Council expressed outrage at all recent attacks in Syria directed against civilians and civilian objects including medical facilities, as well as all indiscriminate attacks, and stressed that these actions may amount to war crimes. They expressed their deep concern at violations of the cessation of hostilities endorsed by Security Council resolution 2268 (2016).
The members of the Security Council welcomed in this regard the recent efforts of the co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), and the re-affirmation of their commitment to the nationwide cessation of hostilities that went into effect on 27 February across Syria, as well as their commitment to use their influence with the cessation of hostilities parties on the ground to press them to abide by the cessation of hostilities, refrain from disproportionate responses to provocations and demonstrate restraint.
The members of the Security Council recalled that all obligations under international humanitarian law must be respected in all circumstances by all parties. They recalled, in particular, the obligation to distinguish between civilian populations and combatants, and the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks and attacks against civilians and civilian objects. The members of the Security Council reiterated their call on all parties to immediately implement in full the provisions of Security Council resolutions relating to Syria, including resolutions 2139 (2013), 2165 (2014) 2191 (2014) and 2258 (2015), as well as resolution 2286 (2016) relating to health care in armed conflict.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the primary responsibility of the Syrian Government to protect the population in Syria and reiterated that parties to the armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians.
The members of the Security Council condemned increased terrorist attacks resulting in numerous casualties and destruction carried out by ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant] — also known as Da’esh — Al-Nusra Front and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and called on all parties to commit to putting an end to terrorist acts perpetrated by such organizations and individuals. They affirmed that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, international refugee and international humanitarian law.
The members of the Security Council demanded the full and immediate implementation of resolution 2254 (2015) to facilitate a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition, in accordance with the Geneva communiqué as set forth in the ISSG statements, in order to end the conflict in Syria, and stressed again that the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria. In that respect, they expressed their full support for the role and efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Staffan de Mistura.