Security Council condemns attacks on Syrian schools, shelling of Russian Embassy

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U.N. Security Council meeting. File photo

Geneva (UN) – The United Nations Security Council on Saturday condemned in the “strongest terms” a recent attack on the Russian Embassy in Syria’s capital, Damascus. The same resolution condemned the widely reported attacks on schools in the country.

Condemning the shelling of the Russian Embassy, that caused “significant material damage,” the council members recalled the principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises, and the obligations of host governments to take all appropriate steps to protect these premises.

The 15-member body also condemned the widely reported attacks on a school complex in Haas village in Idlib Governorate, on October 26, which killed at least 22 children and teachers, and on a school in the western part of Aleppo on October 28, which killed a number of children. The council called for an impartial investigations into both attacks.

“The members of the Security Council expressed outrage at all attacks against civilians and civilian objects, and indiscriminate attacks throughout Syria,” the Security Council said in a statement.

It also reminded all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law, which must be respected in all circumstances. In particular, the obligation to distinguish between civilian populations and combatants and the prohibition against attacks against on civilians and their possessions.

Reaffirming the primary responsibility of the Syrian authorities to protect the population, the council members reiterated that parties to the armed conflict may not make civilians the object of attack or make use of them as human shields.

Members of the council also reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the UN Charter and obligations under international law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorism.

Concluding, the Security Council reiterated its position that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process. That process would fully implement the Geneva Communiqué, which was adopted in June 2012.

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