World, Middle East, Europe

EU calls on Syrian regime to stop attacks in Idlib

28-member block expects Syrian regime, its allies to ensure immediate protection of civilians

Yusuf Hatip   | 05.09.2019
EU calls on Syrian regime to stop attacks in Idlib

BRUSSELS 

The EU called on the Syrian regime and its allies to stop attacks in northwestern Syria, an official said on Thursday.

"As the UN points out and as we have reiterated in previous statements, there is a shocking escalation in the worsening conflict in north-west Syria.

"There is also a worrying pattern of attacks on critical civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, school and water facilities by the Syrian regime and its allies and such attacks have to stop," an EU spokesperson told Anadolu Agency.

The remarks came a day after a UN official said more than 1,000 civilians were killed in and around of the Idlib demilitarized zone in northwestern Syria in the last four months.

The spokesperson said: "Indiscriminate attacks and the destruction of civilian infrastructure cannot be justified under any circumstances."

The EU also recalled that all parties to the conflict are bound to respect and uphold international humanitarian law and to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need.

"We expect the Syrian regime and the Astana guarantors to fulfil immediately their responsibilities and commitments, and ensure the immediate protection of civilians.

"We reiterate the EU position that all the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity should be held accountable," the spokesperson said.

The EU also said there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria, and it will continue to press for an "inclusive, genuine and comprehensive" political transition in the country.

Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Under the deal, opposition groups in Idlib would remain in areas where they were already present, while Russia and Turkey would carry out joint patrols in the area to prevent a resumption of fighting.

The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.

* Writing by Diyar Guldogan




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