Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

Syria's Letter On Israel Bombing It Is Not Acknowledged by UNSC

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 8 -- After complaints about Israel bombing in Syria were filed with the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on December 8 the Council met about Sudan and Liberia. It was said a statement was being prepared - on those topics, or the bombing in Syria?

  When the president of the Security Council for December, the ambassador of Chad, came out and read "press elements" on the Sudans and Liberia, Inner City Press asked if deaths in Abyei had been disclosed by Herve Ladsous (apparently not) -- and if the letter(s) on Isreal bombing Syria had been received.

  Chad's ambassador first said this had nothing to do with the meetings in the Security Council earlier in the day; then he said while a letter about North Korea on which Inner City Press asked posed a question had been received and circulated, "I have not received any other letter."

  So where IS Syria's letter?

  At the December 8 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman how many UN vehicles were captured by Al Nursa, and what if anything UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous had done to try to get them back. There was no direct answer.

  In the meanwhile, the Syria Coalition's Hadi Al-Bahra said he

"condemns the Israeli air raids on targets inside Syria, describing the raids as a 'blatant aggression which the Assad regime bears full responsibility.' Bahra stresses that Assad’s primary concern is not defending Syria’s sovereignty or its air space, but holding to power for which he massacred more than 200,000 Syrians over the past four years. He also calls upon the Syrian people “to hold fast to the principles of the Syrian Revolution and its goals,” denouncing the failure of the international community to put an end to Assad’s industrial crimes which have been exploited by the Israel and terrorist organizations to serve their own ends.”

  After UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous ordered surrenders to Jabhat al Nusra in the Golan Heights, the UN's report dated December 1 says:

"Armed groups had seized a number of vehicles during the incidents involving the detention of the 45 peacekeepers from United Nations position 27 and the confinement of others at positions 68 and 69 late in August. While UNDOF  hurriedly moved personnel and most United Nations assets, including vehicles, from Camp Faouar and other United Nations positions were temporarily vacated, unfortunately some assets and equipment were left behind."

   Now there are reports of UN vehicles being used for suicide car bombs attacks in Daraa in Syria.

  Who in the UN will be held responsible? Ladsous who reported ordered the surrender then never answered questions about it? What steps if any did the UN take since then to try to avoid UN vehicles being used in car bomb attacks? Is this another case of UN Peacekeeping negligence?

  Back on September 30 when now outgoing UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos spoke on Syria to the Security Council, one expected her to describe the impact of the airstrikes in Syria by the US and five Arab kingdoms which began fully eight days before on September 22.

  But Amos stuck to the script, a written report with a cut-off date of September 17. Thus she did not mention the reports of airstrikes hitting grain mills in Manjib. One question is, will she ever?

Update: Amos in public also did not mention the "other" UN-named terrorist group in Syria, Jabhat al Nusra. Inner City Press has learned that in the closed-door consultations that followed, Amos presented a map of who controls what in Syria, listing ISIL-affiliates groups and then, in another color, other groups. That includes Al Nusra -- that is, Nusra and the Free Syrian Army. We'll have more on this.

   Syrian Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari came out of the Security Council. Off-camera, he told Inner City Press that the airstrikes since September 22 -- the only day on which he said Syria was notified by the US -- have killed "only 14 Da'esh" or ISIL fighters.

  On UNTV camera, Inner City Press asked Ja'afari about the impact of the strikes; he said the number of civilians casualties is not yet known but when he has the information, he will provided it.

  Inner City Press asked about the order by UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous that troops from Fiji and the Philippines surrender to Al Nusra. Ja'afari said Ladsous has not gotten back to Syria -- strange, given that it hosts a peacekeeping mission, and that Ladsous met untransparently with Sudan's Omar al Bashir.

  But Ladsous is getting more and more selective, more recently blocking Inner City Press' camera and then taking his favored scribes away from the scheduled (and canceled) stakeout for a "briefing." Video here from Minute 1:19.

  The UN released its August 19 - September 17 Syria aid access report for September in an even more pre-spun way than it did on April 23, then on May 22, on June 20 and then on July 24 and August 28. The UN has declined or refused to reform its broken "gray lady" system. This report cuts off on September 17 -- before the airstrikes by the US and five Kingdoms.

  The new report, cutting off on September 17, says "Government forces also shelled and undertook airstrikes against ISIL positions in the northern and eastern parts of the country in an attempt to stop ISIL."  What about the US and five Kingdom's airstrikes?

  Inner City Press on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access went to the UN Spokesperson's Office on September 29, the eve of the Security Council's month meeting, and asked for an explanation why rather than reform the pre-spin system, the reports are simply not pre-released. There was no explanation.

Update II: on September 30, the UN Spokesperson's office put the report, dated September 23, into its "Gray Lady." What was the point? We'll have more on this. The UN should be transparent.

    On a group neither listed with ISIL and Al Nursa, nor (formally) with the Free Syrian Army, the new UN report says "On September 5, armed opposition groups took control of the Dokhanya and Ein Tarma suburbs of Damascus and engaged government forces in Midan and Zahira al Jadida, located less than 2 km from the Old City. A similar operation took place in Teshrine district, north of Damascus. On 16 September, one of the main Islamic Front factions (Ajnad al Sham) announced the beginning of a second phase of rocket attacks on the centre of Damascus."

   In the new system, selective reports circulate for days before the UN's actual report.

  The spoon-fed pre-spinner, ironically, has engaged in censorship of other leaks, click here for, here for critique by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

  As Inner City Press reported here, Australia along with Luxembourg and Jordan pushed a  resolution on Syria aid access.

  Again, the UN report does not directly address calls in Washington to support the Free Syrian Army -- which is still listed by another part of the UN as recruiting and using child soldiers.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]