Russia halts UN Security Council statement on Syria's Idlib

Belgium, Kuwait and Germany proposed that the council express concern about attacks on civilians and assaults by extremist groups.
Tuesday 04/06/2019
Displaced Syrians fill containers with water in a camp for internally displaced people near Kah, in the northern Idlib province near the border with Turkey on June 3, 2019. (AFP)
Displaced Syrians fill containers with water in a camp for internally displaced people near Kah, in the northern Idlib province near the border with Turkey on June 3, 2019. (AFP)

Russia has blocked the UN Security Council from issuing a statement sounding alarm about fighting in and around Syria's Idlib province and the possibility of a humanitarian disaster.

Belgium, Kuwait and Germany proposed that the council express concern about attacks on civilians and assaults by extremist groups as well as a potentially catastrophic humanitarian situation if a full-scale military operation unfolds.

Kuwaiti Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi says the proposal "was really simple."

But a Security Council diplomat says key Syrian ally Russia objected Monday to the proposed statement. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about the private discussion.

Fighting has raged in Idlib and nearby areas since Syrian troops started pushing into the enclave on April 30, trying to retake the country's last rebel-held redoubt.

(AP)