Syria – End The Diplomatic Doublespeak Start Getting Serious

February 21, 2016 by David Singer
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The deadline for a ceasefire in Syria by 19 February has passed with no indication that it will be achieved at any time in the foreseeable future.

Hopes for that ceasefire were high after the UN Security Council had unanimously passed Resolution 2254 on 18 December 2015 requesting:

“the Secretary-General to lead the effort, through the office of his Special Envoy and in consultation with relevant parties, to determine the modalities and requirements of a ceasefire as well as continue planning for the support of ceasefire implementation, and urges Member States, in particular members of the ISSG, to support and accelerate all efforts to achieve a ceasefire, including through pressing all relevant parties to agree and adhere to such a ceasefire;”

The ISSG mentioned in the Resolution is the International Syria Support Group – comprising the Arab League, China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States.

ISSG has proved totally ineffective in ending the five year conflict in Syria that has seen more than 300,000 deaths and seven million Syrians internally displaced or fleeing to neighbouring States and swamping Europe to escape the horrific carnage unleashed in Syria during that time.

Islamic State was spawned in Syria and Iraq in July 2014 and now occupies more land than the area of Great Britain. Together with Al Nusra Front – a Syria-based Sunni extremist group that adheres to the global jihadist ideology of al-Qa’ida – both have been declared terrorist organisations by the UN Security Council.

Meeting in Munich on 12 and 13 February the ISSG members agreed that:

“The UN shall serve as the secretariat of the ceasefire task force. The cessation of hostilities will commence in one week, after confirmation by the Syrian government and opposition, following appropriate consultations in Syria.”

During that week, the ISSG task force will develop modalities for the cessation of hostilities. The ISSG task force will, among other responsibilities continue to: a) delineate the territory held by Daesh [Islamic State], ANF [Al Nusra Front] and other groups designated as terrorist organisations by the United Nations Security Council; b) ensure effective communications among all parties to promote compliance and rapidly de-escalate tensions; c) resolve allegations of non-compliance; and d) refer persistent non-compliant behaviour by any of the parties to ISSG Ministers, or those designated by the Ministers, to determine appropriate action, including the exclusion of such parties from the arrangements for the cessation of hostilities and the protection it affords them.”

Meaningless gobbledygook.

The ISSG task force failed to meet once during that critical seven-day period.

Whilst the UN and the ISSG task force mumbles, fumbles and stumbles – the carnage continues – as the ISSG members remain divided between those supporting Syria’s President Assad retaining power and those seeking his removal.

The ISSG is hopelessly conflicted and needs to adopt a different approach to begin ending the suffering of the Syrian people.

All ISSG members unanimously agree that Islamic State and Al Nusra Front represent a grave threat to world peace and security.

Russia, America, China, France and the United Kingdom – the five permanent members of the Security Council and all ISSG members – need to combine their diplomatic power to procure the passing of an unequivocal and unambiguous Security Council Resolution establishing a UN military force to confront and defeat Islamic State and Al Nusra Front.

Until these enemies are comprehensibly defeated – all else is diplomatic doublespeak and a complete waste of time in ending the conflict in Syria.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network


3 Responses to “Syria – End The Diplomatic Doublespeak Start Getting Serious”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Golly Gosh… I thought they belonged in there already. I could have sworn I heard them singing… My old man the dustbin etc etc.

  2. Paul Winter says:

    A very good summary, but sadly a pie in the sky conclusion.

    Pigs will fly much sooner than the fiver permanent UNSC members will unite in action on anything.

    The concluding sentence, however, is great: until enemies are defeated everything is just so much hot air. Now why doesn’t anyone see that that is precisely the course Israel needs to take – rather than allow itself to heed the UN and the peace processors – when confronting islamofascists waging jihad?

    • david singer says:


      You are wrong when you state:
      “Pigs will fly much sooner than the five permanent UNSC members will unite in action on anything.”

      They have already united to pass 13 Security Council resolutions on Syria since 2012 – but they have been ineffectual in stopping the killing and carnage.

      In my opinion they now need to pass the Resolution outlined in my article in which they will all be united in one common action within Syria to destroy Islamic State and Al Nusra Front under a UN led armed force authorized to take all steps to defeat these groups.

      Since publication of my article yesterday another 140 civilians have been reportedly killed by Islamic State in Homs and Damascus

      The five UN permanent members should seriously reflect on what damage their continuing inaction is creating by failing to authorise UN military action against Islamic State and Al Nusra Front.

      If they fail to so act it is not too fanciful a proposition to speculate that the UN could end up following its predecessor – the League of Nations – into the dustbin of history.

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