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UN calls for cessation of hostilities in Idlib

Translation: Muhammad Ghaith
Publication date: 2020/02/05 09:10

Turkey - SMART

On Tuesday, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Idlib governorate, Northern Syria. Guterres also called for preparation of suitable conditions to deliver humanitarian aid.

In a press conference, Guterres said, "We have been very clear expressing our enormous concern with the escalation that we are witnessing in Idlib and asking for a cessation of hostilities." Guterres added, "We don't believe there is a military solution for the conflict in Syria. We have said it time and time again that a solution is political and that the process needs to move on through the Geneva talks and then through the different steps related to it."

On Feb. 1, 2020, Guterres called for a cessation of hostilities and attacks against civilians and civil facilities in Northwestern Syria.

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 western Aleppo countryside and the Idlib eastern and southern countryside. 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.