UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES: The United Nations (UN) Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the Syrian army’s Russia-backed offensive against militant groups that has forced some 300,000 people to flee, diplomats said.
Sweden, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency, requested the closed-door meeting along with Kuwait, Swedish diplomats said Tuesday. The UN estimates that between 270,000 and 330,000 Syrians have fled since June 19 the ongoing bombings in the southwestern province of Daraa.
For Thursday’s meeting, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will report to the 15 Council members about the humanitarian situation in Daraa, which borders Jordan. The increased violence “indicates yet another failure by the parties of the conflict to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure,” Sweden’s UN mission said.
“Efforts must be intensified to de-escalate violence, also to enable the UN cross-border convoy from Jordan that is on standby at the border to deploy as soon as possible.” Jordan and Israel have said their borders would remain closed, even as tens of thousands of Syrians flee the government offensive.
Jordan, which has recorded some 650,000 Syrian refugees to the UN on its soil, says it can no longer accept more.
More than 350,000 people have been killed since Syria’s brutal civil war began in 2011, with millions more displaced. All international calls to halt the offensive in Daraa have so far fallen on deaf ears.
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