UN Still Angling for Syria ‘Safe Zone’

Is It for Civilians, or Rebels?

The United Nations is still pushing for the Security Council to impose the establishment of a “safe zone” in northern Syria, arguing that it would allow civilians to escape the ongoing civil war and would make it easier for humanitarian aid to reach effected people.

Such a move would normally be fairly easy to push through, but has become contentious because several nations, including the US, have openly pushed the “safe zone” as a way to aid the rebels in the civil war, arguing that it could be used by the rebels as a place to retreat after offensives and to reorganize for future attacks.

This is of course hugely problematic, and militarizing the safe zone for the benefit of one side sort of defeats the whole purpose of removing civilians from combat. The fight will be one of many that the UN Security Council is likely to continue as France takes over the leadership role and pushes ever more loudly for a UN-endorsed invasion.

Russia and China have been opposing the idea of the UN imposing regime change on the country, and Russia reiterated their opposition today, noting that both sides continue to commit human rights abuses.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.