“The man-made humanitarian nightmare for the long-suffering Syrian people must stop,” UN chief Antonio Guterres while addressing international media reporters said. He added that there wasn’t any military but only a political solution to the crisis. Though during his address at the UN headquarters, he did not talk about any specific plan for curbing the bloodshed in longest rebel holdout, international media reported.
Since December, over 9,00,000 people have fled the Idlib province which has been a constant target for the regime lead the Syrian government to launch military attacks. Guterres recalled that he had repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire in Idlib and urged parties to avoid any further escalation. “It is crucial to break the vicious cycle of violence and suffering,” he said.
The area has reportedly witnessed the biggest wave of displacement since the 9-year-conflict first started. The UN Chief said that the refugees have escaped under the most tragic conditions. “Young children freezing to death in the cold,” he added. Despite ceasefire arrangement made under 2017 under a de-escalation agreement, and his recent appeals for an end to the hostility developments on the ground are making conditions increasingly more dangerous.
“For almost a year we have seen a series of Syrian government ground offensives supported by Russian airstrikes. This month, there have been repeated deadly clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces,” he said. He added that all of this means, that in addition to a dramatic and deteriorating humanitarian situation, there is also the risk of an ever-more serious confrontation with increasingly unpredictable consequences before saying that it is crucial to break the vicious circle of violence and suffering.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to halt the Syrian regime's violence in Idlib on February 21. "The president during the call stressed that the regime should be restrained in Idlib and that the humanitarian crisis must be stopped," the Turkish presidency said in a statement after the two leaders spoke by phone.
(With inputs from agencies)