UN Ambassador Nikki Haley strongly condemned the practice of using “human shields,” calling attention to this atrocity taking place in the Middle East and urging the UN Security Council to address it.
She decried this heinous behavior as utterly craven, noting that “It's difficult to think of a more cowardly act – even for a terrorist – than hiding behind innocent civilians.”
But this barbarism “is reaching epic proportions in the region” and “is present across the Middle East in virtually every conflict,” Haley warned.
During her remarks she mentioned ISIS, Hezbollah, “Houthi militants” in the nation of Yemen, and Hamas.
“ISIS fighters took advantage of the presence of civilians in their homes, their hospitals, their schools, and their mosques. When they were forced out of their positions,” she continued, “ISIS went from door to door, rounding up families and forcing them to accompany their fighters as they evacuated their locations.”
She explained that Hezbollah is also guilty. “In the course of its massive arms buildup, Hezbollah has turned Lebanese villages into military compounds, stationing weapons depots, rocket launchers, and command posts in, around, and under the civilian population,” she said about the Iranian linked terror organization.
Hamas, also engages in this egregious practice Haley explained, noting that it places“rocket launchers near schools, apartment buildings, hotels, churches, and UN facilities.”
According to Haley, Iran represents a connecting factor linking these examples. “As usual, Iran is the patron and protector of many of these groups that fight from behind the bodies of innocent civilians,” she said.
She also pointed to another similarity: “The second common thread is the dramatic risk to civilians. For those willing to sacrifice the innocent, there is no way to lose,” Haley said, pointingout that that whether the people being used as human shields live or die, their oppressors can still use the situation to their advantage: “Innocent civilians either provide cover for military infrastructure, or they become victims that rally the international media to their cause,” she explained.
“It is quite simply an issue of decency,” she said at the conclusion of her remarks. Calling for the UN Security Council to confront the issue, she said, “Humanity itself loses when the barbaric practice of human shields is tolerated and unanswered. For humanity’s sake, the Security Council must rise up to address this threat.”