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Naame Shaam: UN Security Council resolution on limited aid access to Syria ‘toothless’

Naame Shaam: UN Security Council resolution on limited aid access to Syria ‘toothless’

Syrian opposition should pressure allies to propose another resolution under Chapter VII

Tehran/Damascus, 14 July 2014 – Today’s UN Security Council resolution authorising aid access to rebel-held areas in Syria is “toothless,” the campaign group Naame Shaam said. “The Syrian opposition should pressure its allies, especially the US, to propose a more powerful resolution under Chapter VII,” it added.

The Security Council is scheduled later today to vote on a new resolution authorising the delivery of humanitarian aid through border crossings from Iraq, Jordan and Turkey without the Syrian government’s consent.

The initial text of the resolution wanted blanket cross-border access and Chapter 7 powers, authorising the Council to enforce its decisions through economic sanctions or military force.

Following objections from Russia and China, however, the draft resolution’s language was revised to say the Council “affirms” rather than “decides” that it will “take further measures in the event of non-compliance with this resolution by any Syrian party.” Thus, to impose punishments for non-compliance, the Security Council would need to agree on another resolution, which is likely to be vetoed by Russia and China, the Syrian regime’s closest allies after Iran.

Naame Shaam’s spokesperson Peyman Kaamvar said: “Like previous UN resolutions, this draft resolution too is not enough. It is anything but an adequate response to the magnitude and scale of human suffering and humanitarian need in Syria.”

“The draft resolution is toothless,” Kaamvar added. “Because without stopping the continuous bombardment by the regime’s air force of rebel-held areas, aid workers are unlikely to able to deliver aid to some the most needy people in Syria, and the mission is likely to fail, like what happened in Homs in February 2014.”[1]

“Naame Shaam therefore urges the Syrian opposition to unite in pressuring its allies to propose a UN Security Council resolution under Chapter VII imposing safe and unhindered humanitarian access to conflict zones and people in need throughout Syria,” Kaamvar said. “If Russia and China vetoed this again, then they should act unilaterally by securing rebel-held areas and imposing no-fly zones.”

Ali Rahimi, another spokesperson for Naame Shaam, said: “UN resolutions on aid access that are not coupled with serious, concrete steps to end the bloodshed in Syria are little more than time games. We therefore call upon regional and international powers to support the moderate rebels in Syria with all means necessary to enable them to actually win the war against the Syrian and Iranian regimes and establish a free and democratic Syria.”

“In addition, the Iranian regime should be given a clear deadline to start pulling its Sepah Pasdaran, Hezbollah Lebanon and the Iraqi militias out of Syria, or face a serious, tough response on several fronts. Without such measures the Iranian  and Syrian regimes are unlikely to take any UN resolutions very seriously,” Rahimi added.

Western diplomats estimate that the four proposed border crossings could allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to nearly two million people. Yet the United Nations says some 10.8 million people in Syria are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, of whom 4.7 million are in hard-to-reach areas.[2]

In April 2014, the UN itself said it would need a Chapter VII resolution to be able to deliver aid across borders without the Syrian government’s consent.

Moreover, the Security Council has already adopted a resolution similar to this new one in February 2014.[3] Resolution 2139 merely “demanded” that all parties allow delivery of humanitarian assistance, without any powers to enforce compliance.

The Syrian regime continues to insist that any delivery of humanitarian aid across its borders into rebel-held areas without its consent would amount to an “attack.”

For further questions:
Please contact Naame Shaam’s spokesperson Hossein Amir at
Email: [email protected]

Notes for editors:

Naame Shaam (نامه شام), or “Letters from Syria”, is a group of Iranian, Syrian and Lebanese activists and citizen-journalists who work to raise awareness about the Iranian regime’s policies and involvement in Syria and to influence the public narrative about the Syrian revolution. For more information, see our website at

[1] See

[2] See

[3] See

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