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USA says that ruthless actions by Russia and Syrian government are preventing ceasefire in Northern Syria

Editing: Ayham Nasif |
Translation: Nouha Salti
Publication date: 2020/01/28 12:41

Turkey - SMART

On Tuesday, the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said that “Ruthless” actions by Russia and the Syrian government are directly preventing the establishment of a ceasefire in Northern Syria.

Pompeo added on Twitter, “Ruthless actions by Russia, the Iranian regime, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime are directly preventing the establishment of a ceasefire in northern Syria. We condemn these barbaric attacks and call for an immediate ceasefire.”

Russia and the Syrian government forces intensify the bombings on the cities and towns in the governorates of Idlib and Aleppo, amidst clashes between opposition factions and Syrian government forces in the area.

Also on Twitter, the White House Spokesman, Judd Deere, said that the US President, Donald Trump, and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, discussed developments in Syria in a phone call, adding, “The leaders agreed that the violence being carried out in Idlib, Syria must stop.”

On Monday, the Syrian Network for Human Rights documented the killing of 87 civilians due to the Russian and Syrian government forces bombings since announcing a ceasefire in Idlib by Russia and Turkey.

On Jan. 23, 2020, the Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, said that the Syrian government is violating the ceasefire in Syria. Akar added that thousands of civilians are fleeing from Idlib toward the northern and eastern countrysides of Aleppo due to intensified bombings.

On Jan. 10, 2020, Turkish Defense Ministry announced a ceasefire in  Idlib starting from Jan. 12, 2020, after the Syrian government forces violated the ceasefire that Russia announced on Jan. 9, 2020.

Since Nov. 25, 2019, the Syrian government forces and loyalist militias, supported by Russia, have been launching a ground military attack on the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib. They intensified the attack on Dec. 20, 2019, as the Syrian government gained control of dozens of villages and towns in the region, after intense shelling. The shelling killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.

This attack is considered a continuation of the military operation launched by the Syrian government forces and Russia on Idlib on Apr. 25, 2019. During the military operation, the Syrian government forces gained total control of the northern countryside of Hama and the  area of Khan Sheikhun. Military analysts and journalists said that by this military operation, the Syrian government aims to gain control of the Aleppo-Damascus international highway that connects Turkey to Jordan and the Arab Gulf States in order to reopen it later under Russian and Turkish sponsorship agreed upon by the two countries.