US says Afrin part of Syrian ceasefire

When asked whether she would agree that Turkey is violating Syrian ceasefire by its actions in Afrin, spokesperson Heather Nauert said, "I would encourage Turkey to go back and read this resolution"
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 08:16

US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert at a press briefing on Tuesday urged Turkey to read the entire UN Security Council resolution passed over the weekend for a cease-fire in Syria while avoiding saying that the Turkish government should abide by it.

When asked whether she would agree that Turkey is violating Syrian ceasefire by its actions in Afrin, Nauert said, "I would encourage Turkey to go back and read this resolution."

"I will quote some of this to you 'demands that all parties cease hostilities without delay and engage immediately to ensure full and comprehensive implementation of this demand by all parties for a durable humanitarian pause for at least 30 consecutive days throughout Syria to enable the safe, unimpeded, and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid and services and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded in accordance with applicable international law'".

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Sunday that the Security Council’s resolution does not cover Ankara’s military operation in Afrin as it is being conducted against "terrorists".

The resolution underlined that ceasefire regime does not apply to the military operations against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Nusra Front) terrorist groups.

"I think the resolution was clear here in naming exactly which groups are considered to be exempt from the ceasefire," Nauert added.

On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which urges all parties to the conflict to immediately stop all clashes and adhere to a long-term humanitarian pause across Syria in order to ensure the safe and unhindered supply of humanitarian aid as well as the medical evacuation of those injured.

The resolution was adopted following a flare-up of violence in Eastern Ghouta, located on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus and controlled by various militant groups. The UN estimates that at least 500 people have been killed in the recent fighting while 1,500 others have been wounded.