Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on the UK plans to provide assistance for Idlib province in Syria

Question: How would you comment on the statement by the UK government on its intention to provide assistance for Idlib province in Syria?

Answer: We monitor closely the modalities of the UK assistance in Syria, what are its objectives and who are its recipients. The official British statement issued today indicates that the assistance will be provided to Idlib province. Moreover, according to the statement, around 3 million civilians “have sought shelter” in this area, while “many have already been displaced multiple times”.

Idlib province in North West Syria is well-known as a den for extremists and terrorists, above all Al-Nusra Front and ISIL, both of them UN-recognised terrorist organisations. The area has accommodated tens of thousands of most irreconcilable jihadists, who are launching daily attacks against the positions of the Syrian army and Russian “Khmeymim” base, as well as fighting each other, forcing civilians to flee.

The fact that the conservative UK government is in such a rush to spend British taxpayers’ money in that particular part of the country is symptomatic. At the same time the UK persists in its refusal to participate in providing humanitarian aid to all of Syria and those refugees who are returning to their homes, as well as to assist the reconstruction of the country. We would like to remind that more than 90 percent of Syrian territory has been liberated from terrorists.

We believe this sort of selective assistance, aimed at achieving the dubious foreign policy goals of the UK government, which have little to do with the realities on the ground, is most regrettable.