Politics, Middle East

EU urges Syrian regime, allies to stop attacks in Idlib

EU’s foreign and security policy service stresses need for protection of civilians as well as rapid humanitarian access

Yusuf Hatip and Cuneyt Karadag   | 29.12.2019
EU urges Syrian regime, allies to stop attacks in Idlib

BRUSSELS, Belgium / BERLIN, Germany

The European Union on Sunday called on the Syrian regime and its allies to stop attacks in northwestern Syria.

"The escalation of violence in the northwest of Syria by the Syrian regime and its allies must cease," European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU’s foreign and security policy service, said in a statement.

The airstrikes, said the statement, target civilians and escape routes, and the number of displaced civilians reached 800,000 since February.

"All parties have the obligation to protect civilians. The regime and its allies must cease indiscriminate military attacks and respect international humanitarian law," it added.

For three million civilians living in Idlib, the EU body urged immediate protection and rapid humanitarian access for them.

"The presence of UN-listed terrorist groups in Idlib is an issue of concern for all. Fighting these groups, as authorized by the UN, does not permit the undermining of international humanitarian law or the targeting of civilians," it said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also called for "immediate" ceasefire in Idlib.

"An immediate end to the attacks and a lasting ceasefire are needed," Maas told the Germany-based Funke Media Group on Sunday.

Saying that hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the heavy attacks in the region, he stressed that the situation in Idlib is already "catastrophic" and is getting worse.

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