Americas, Middle East

No military victory for Syrian regime in Idlib: Pompeo

Permanent cease-fire, UN-led negotiations answer to Syrian conflict, says top US diplomat

Vakkas Doğantekin   | 25.02.2020
No military victory for Syrian regime in Idlib: Pompeo

ANKARA 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday the Syrian regime will not be able to achieve a military victory and the recent offensive in Idlib only heightens the risks of conflict with Turkey.

"Assad regime’s brutal new aggressions cynically backed by Moscow and Tehran imperils now more than 3 million displaced persons including as we have tragically seen young people," Pompeo told reporters at a news conference.

"As we have said many times before, the regime will not be able to obtain military victory. The regime’s offensive only heightens the risk of conflict with our NATO ally Turkey," he said.

Pompeo said the solution in Syria is a "permanent ceasefire and UN-led negotiations under UN Security Council resolution 2254” and the Trump administration is "working together with Turkey on seeing what we can do together."

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

But the regime and its allies, including the Iranian-backed forces, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the territory.

Turkey has called for the cease-fire to be followed, and warned if the attacks do not stop, it would take action.

The de-escalation zone is currently home to 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by the regime forces.

* Beyza Binnur Donmez from Ankara contributed to this story

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