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UN secretary-general calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib, Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday.

“The Secretary-General is following with grave concern the escalation in northwest Syria and reports that dozens of Turkish soldiers have been killed by an airstrike,” Dujarric said. “The Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate ceasefire and expresses particular concern about the risk to civilians from escalating military actions,” he added.

“Without urgent action, the risk of even greater escalation grows by the hour,” he noted.

The situation in Idlib has escalated at the start of February after Russian and Turkish militaries made another attempt to impose a ceasefire regime, but terrorists only stepped up their attacks in response. Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to use its full combat power in case an operation in Idlib is needed. Erdogan said that the start of a military campaign in Idlib is only a matter of time and that all preparations have been made.

Idlib is the only region of Syria that is still mostly controlled by illegal armed groups. In 2017, a northern de-escalation zone was set up there, and militants who refused to lay down arms in Eastern Gouta near Damascus and in southern parts of Syria moved there.

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