UNITED NATIONS, February 28. /TASS/. Russia has urged the US-led coalition to let UN officials visit the Syrian city of Raqqa and to transfer the areas the coalition controls at present over to the care of the Syrian government, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya said on Wednesday at a meeting of the UN Security Council.
"We insist on dispatching an evaluation commission to Raqqa and call on the coalition, which controls the area de facto, to ensure all the appropriate conditions for this visit," he said.
"We expect the coalition command to draw up a plan for a transfer of the areas freed from the Islamic State over to the care of the Syrian central authorities with account of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity confirmed by the UN Security Council many a time instead of planting quasi-administrations there," Nebenzya said.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday had a meeting to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria, with particular attention given to developments in Eastern Ghouta, a suburban area of Damascus. The participants in the meeting did not bypass other parts of the country, however, including Raqqa freed from IS in October 2017 with assistance from the US and its allies.
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, made a report where he drew a grim picture of what was happening in Raqqa. He said, among other things, civilians could not make a safe return to their homes and the workers of aid agencies did not have access to the city either.
Lowcock also said the city stood in need of an urgent mine-clearing operation.