European countries demand the Syrian army to cease fire in Idlib.
Foreign ministers from 14 European countries called on Wednesday for the Syrian government forces and their Russian supporters to end their attack on Idlib governorate and return to the terms of the 2018 ceasefire agreement.
About a million Syrians have been displaced in the past three months due to fighting between Turkey-backed opponents and Russian-backed Syrian forces trying to recover the last major opposition stronghold in Syria in the nine-year war.
“We call on the Syrian government and its supporters, especially the Russians, to end this attack and return to the ceasefire arrangements reached in the fall of 2018,” the ministers said in a column published in the French newspaper “Le Monde”.
Reuters quoted the ministers as saying: “We call on them to immediately stop hostilities and respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, especially the protection of humanitarian workers who are risking their lives for civilians.”
Turkey and Russia agreed in September 2018 to establish a de-escalation zone in Idlib, but this was not achieved amid an attack by the Syrian army that Damascus says is aimed at eliminating militants in the region.
Ankara has sent thousands of its forces and trucks loaded with equipment to the northwestern region on the border with Turkey to support the opposition forces, and Erdogan has vowed to expel the Syrian forces.
But the Syrian army is making new gains in the south of Idlib governorate, where it seized a number of villages, on Wednesday, and bombed more hospitals and schools in air strikes.