The US special envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, on Wednesday said that the current escalation in the province of Idlib poses a threat not only to peace efforts in Syria, but for the entire region.
Speaking to reporters following a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on Syria, Jeffrey said that during the meeting, Washington called for a ceasefire in Idlib as soon as possible because the current situation poses a threat to peace, not only in Syria, but the whole region.
Jeffrey went on to say that the US raised the horrible situation in Idlib during the meeting as it stressed that the onslaught on civilians must stop immediately. The US has always supported a ceasefire weather inside or outside the Council, he added.
The US Acting Ambassador to the United States, Jonathan Cohen, called on the Assad regime and Russia to fully implement the Idlib agreement, abide by the ceasefire, and fully restore the de-escalation arrangement.
Cohen said that the United States and its allies are closely monitoring the situation in northwestern Syria, and will respond swiftly and appropriately to any use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.
Cohen called for commanders who planned and carried out such attacks to be held accountable. He expressed concern about the continued airstrikes targeting healthcare facilities and health workers in northwestern Syria.
Moreover, the US diplomat called upon the Assad regime to allow humanitarian convoys to reach Al-Rukban refugee camp. He pointed to the Assad regime and Russia’s responsibility for the blockade, stressing that the regime is pursuing a “kneel or starve” tactic against people in the camp.
The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Muelle on Tuesday warned that further military operations in Idlib province would overwhelm aid efforts, stressing that an estimated three million people are caught up in the crossfire and without shelter.
The Emergency Response Coordinators Team in northwestern Syria on Monday said that at least 568 civilians, including 162 children, have been killed in the bombing campaign the Assad regime and Russia have launched in northwestern Syria since April 26. It noted that nearly half a million people have been displaced. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)