Source: United Nations 2
No military solution: China
China’s Ambassador Zhang Jun said that action taken by the US was creating new turmoil in the Middle East.
History has shown that using military means would not provide any solutions to the problems roiling the Middle East. He said the action by the US would only exacerbate a vicious cycle of tit-for-tat.
He urged the various parties to remain calm, abide by the Charter and international law, cease illegal military operations and prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.
The fundamental reason for the current situation is the failure to implement a ceasefire in Gaza which is a prerequisite for any progress.
He called on all countries concerned to stop acting out of self-interest. “We are standing at a critical crossroads”, he told ambassadors and should not forget that we are all in the same boat.
All nations must remain committed to the common goal of regional stability.
Unlawful and irresponsible attacks by US: Russia
Russia’s Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said the actions of the US in the region were just the latest in a litany of unlawful and irresponsible attacks, against the backdrop of an unprecedented escalation of violence.
Massive airstrikes by the US once again demonstrated to the world the aggressive nature of US policy in the Middle East and Washington’s complete disregard for international law, he continued.
The participation of the UK should not create the illusion of some kind of “international coalition”.
London has yet to answer for its zeal in supporting the purely provocative actions of its “big brother” in Washington.
Mr. Nebenzia said the US was deliberately trying to drag the largest countries of the Middle East, including Iran, into a regional conflict.
He strongly condemned the aggression by the US against sovereign nations which have increased the level of instability in an already “burning” region.
He called on the international community to unconditionally condemn the reckless actions of Washington and its allies in the Middle East, which have violated the sovereignty of the both Syria and Iraq.
More attacks across Middle East fuel chances of miscalculation
The UN’s Political Affairs chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, is briefing ambassadors first. She said that as everyone in the diplomatic world is all too aware, “the tensions that have engulfed multiple countries in the Middle East continue to rise.”
She said the Secretary-General António Guterres had repeatedly warned about the risk of further military escalation “and miscalculation” since the Hamas terror attacks of 7 October set the region aflame.
“We have witnessed near daily incidents in the region. These include some 165 attacks on United States facilities in Syria and Iraq, prompting US strikes in the two countries”, Ms DiCarlo said.
On 28 January, a drone attack killed three US service members and injured 40 others at a US base in northeast Jordan, she said, adding that on 2 February the US carried out 85 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against reported Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Forces and affiliated groups.
“The US said it had targeted command and control operations, intelligence centers and weapons facilities, among other sites, and that it was not seeking conflict in the Middle East or elsewhere,” she reported, noting also that both Syria and Iraq condemned the strikes.
The two countries also claimed the strikes resulted in deaths and injuries of civilians.
Golan to the Red Sea
Ms. DiCarlo described the febrile situation elsewhere in the region, including between Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah across the Blue Line, which separates the armed forces of Israel and Lebanon.
Repeated rocket fire also took place over the occupied Golan between Israel and militias reportedly linked to Iran, as well as airstrikes attributed to Israel by Damascus on multiple locations in Syria, she added.
She also noted the Houthi drone and missile attacks against ships in the Red Sea, and the retaliatory strikes by the US and UK.
“I reiterate the Secretary-General’s call on all parties to step back from the brink and to consider the unbearable human and economic cost of a potential regional conflict,” she urged.
“I appeal to the Council to continue to actively engage all concerned parties to prevent further escalation and the worsening of tensions that undermine regional peace and security,” she said.
The meeting comes against the backdrop of a series of strikes by the United States on targets in Iraq and Syria on Friday.
The US alleges the sites were used by Iranian-backed militias to launch attacks on troops stationed in the region. Three US service members were killed in one such attack on their outpost in Jordan in late January and dozens were injured.
According to US military officials, more than 85 targets were struck in Iraq and Syria, including command, control and intelligence centres, munition and logistics supplies, and rockets, drones and missile sites.
The US has also been joined in recent days by the United Kingdom in what they describe as a defensive operation aimed at Houthi rebel targets in Yemen, which have been used to launch attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.