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UN Security Council to discuss Syria situation via video conferencing


UN Security Council to discuss Syria situation via video conferencing

Photo: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The UN Security Council will convene by videoconference today to discuss the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Wartime conditions in the country have exacerbated concerns of the potential impact of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to Syria, particularly in rebel-held areas. Over a million displaced people living in camps in the rebel-held north-west of the country are in danger of a humanitarian disaster, should the pandemic reach this region.

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Washington is unlikely to pursue a leadership role in coalescing member-nations around a US military-supported, UN health mission in Syria, unlike in 2014 during the Ebola pandemic in West Africa. Only Beijing has signalled a willingness to fill the global leadership vacuum, as seen in its health missions to Italy and Spain in recent weeks. However, it’s unlikely that will translate to supporting a UN mission to rebel-held Syria at this stage, given Beijing’s support for President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.

Expect the Security Council to continue to struggle with a clear and united strategy to combat COVID-19 in Syria, among other war-ravaged regions. The US is likely to continue seeking a resolution blaming Beijing for the global pandemic—almost certain to be blocked by China.

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