International organisations have called for a ceasefire in the Idlib province of Syria as death tolls increase
The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged ceasefire in the north-western region of Syria on humanitarian grounds. 13 of the 15 member nations of the UN Security Council have supported the appeal except for China and Russia, Syria’s closest allies. NATO ambassadors met in an emergency meeting on February 28 called by Turkey after airstrikes carried out by Syrian or Russian artillery killed 33 Turkish troops.
The airstrikes have been blamed on the Assad regime in Syria and Russia while the international community appeals for de-escalation before situation worsens. Turkey currently hosts around 3.7 million refugees from Syria and is using the refugee crisis as leverage in order to threaten Russian-backed Syrian forces to stand down.
The civilian population of Syria is in the crossroads of the offensive, imposed under President Bashar al-Assad government. Heavy losses of lives and infrastructure in north-western Idlib escalated due to tensions between Moscow allied Damascus and rebel supported Ankara. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights has listed out more than 400 deaths since December, including recent deaths of three children when Russia bombarded the Idlib province. UN Security Council called for a vote on truce initiatives which was systematically vetoed by Moscow. Meanwhile, Europe is facing an influx of refugees who have fled from Syria and are reaching the borders of Greece and Bulgaria as Turkey is unable to handle anymore.
The devastating offensive by Assad regime had drawn out jihadi terrorists and Turkish-backed rebels from Saraqeb, an important crossroads town in Idlib in February. The counteroffensive carried out by Russian-backed Syrian troops gave a passageway for the terrorists and rebel groups to recapture the disputed regions, reversing any progress.
US Ambassador Kelly Craft has condemned the violence and attacks on the Turkish troops and has called for an immediate reaction to implement a ceasefire by the concerned authorities. White House announced that US President Trump has expressed his concern to the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and has called on Moscow, Assad government and Tehran to halt their offensives on the basis of ‘humanitarian grounds’. Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun has blamed terrorism as the root cause of the nine-year violence in Syria and believes that eliminating the terror sources would serve as a key component in bringing stability, development and peace in Syria.