On instructions from my Government, I should like to convey to you the following information regarding the deadly terrorist explosions that occurred in the cities of Tartus and Jablah this morning, 23 May 2016:

Armed terrorist groups attacked the cities of Tartus and Jablah using four car bombs and three suicide bombers wearing explosive vests. The terrorists detonated a car bomb that targeted the main bus terminal in Tartus. Two other blasts followed, set off by two suicide bombers who blew themselves up, the first inside the bus terminal and the second in a nearby residential neighbourhood. The terrorist organization Ahrar al-Sham claimed responsibility for the despicable acts.

Armed terrorist groups also detonated three car bombs in the city of Jablah, two of them simultaneously, targeting the main bus terminal, while the third car bomb targeted the city’s department of electricity. Following the explosion, a suicide bomber blew himself up with an explosive vest at the entrance to the emergency room of the Jablah National Hospital, taking advantage of the crowd of injured people seeking aid at the hospital. The seven terrorist blasts killed dozens of civilians and critically injured dozens more, some of whom could die, thereby increasing the death toll. Most of the casualties were women and children. Serious material damage was caused to property, infrastructure and nearby homes.

The terrorist blasts are part of the series of systematic terrorist attacks by armed terrorist groups against cities, villages and towns throughout Syria. They constitute a dangerous escalation by the hateful extremist regimes in Riyadh, Ankara and Doha. The attacks are intended to undermine efforts to stop the shedding of innocent Syrian blood and to thwart the Geneva talks, truce arrangements and the cessation of hostilities agreement, and to divert attention from the victories of the Syrian Arab Army in its war on the cross-border terrorism being perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Nusrah Front.

Certain States are continuing to impose a policy of silence on the Security Council with respect to the heinous terrorist acts committed by armed terrorist groups in various regions of the Syrian Arab Republic, and to refuse to allow the Security Council to take immediate deterrent and punitive measures against the States and regimes that support and finance terrorism — in particular the Riyadh, Ankara and Doha regimes. This only encourages those regimes to keep sending their terrorist proxies to Syria to commit terrorist acts and massacres against the Syrian people, and to continue to undermine regional and international peace and security by using terrorism and armed terrorist groups as a means of pressure and political blackmail in order to pursue their nefarious interests and obtain recognition of their regional political role.

At the same time, the representatives of the United States, France, Britain and Ukraine on the Security Council are refusing to approve the request to have add the Army of Islam and Ahrar al-Sham organizations to the list of terrorist groups and entities maintained by the Council, and continue to insist on referring to such groups as “the moderate armed opposition”. This shows that those States and others are persisting in their policy of turning a blind eye to the crimes of those terrorist groups, and that they are not serious about fighting terrorism.

The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic affirms that these terrorist massacres and crimes will not deter it from continuing to fulfil its duty to counter terrorism and strive to bring about a political solution to the Syrian crisis through an intra-Syrian dialogue and under Syrian leadership, leading to the elimination of terrorism; the reconstruction of facilities destroyed by the terrorists and their partners, financial backers and supporters; and the restoration of security and stability for the Syrian people.

The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic calls on the Security Council and the Secretary-General to condemn these terrorist crimes immediately and forcefully. It also calls on the Security Council to fulfil its responsibility to maintain international peace and security by taking preventive and punitive measures immediately in respect of those regimes and States that support and fund terrorism, particularly the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. The Council must prevent those States from continuing to fund terrorism and undermining international security and peace, and compel them to implement fully the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2199 (2015) and 2253 (2015).

I should be grateful if the present letter could be issued as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Bashar Ja’afari
Permanent Representative