UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously condemned “in the strongest terms” what it described as “terrorist attacks” in the Syrian city of Aleppo earlier this week, a series of coordinated suicide bombings which killed 48 people in the northern metropolis.
“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Aleppo, Syria on 3 October, causing dozens of deaths and over one hundred civilians injured, responsibility for which was claimed by the Jebhat al-Nusra group affiliated with al Qaeda,” the 15-nation council said in a non-binding statement.
“They [Council members] expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims of these heinous acts and to the people of Syria,” added Ambassador Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala, which holds the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of October, in the statement he read out to the media at UN Headquarters in New York.
Agreements among Security Council members on the Syrian conflict are rare. Friday’s statement came on the heels of a separate statement on Thursday that condemned a deadly Syrian mortar attack on a Turkish border town on the same day as the Aleppo bombings.
Diplomats said Russia had insisted on Friday’s statement on the Aleppo attack in exchange for its support for the statement on the Syrian mortar attack on Turkey that killed five civilians.
Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said his government had urged the Security Council to include in any statement on the border attacks a reaction to “suicide terrorist attacks that struck the city of Aleppo.”
Consensus within the council on anything related to Syria is unusual, as it has been deadlocked on the issue of the country’s 18-month-long conflict for more than a year, with Russia and China rejecting calls to sanction the Damascus government.
Beijing and Moscow have vetoed three Western - and Arab-backed council resolutions condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for its onslaught against the opposition in what has become a full-blown civil war.
In addition, the Council members reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the UN Charter. They also reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.