Syria & Lebanon

Russia’s Lavrov rejects calls for ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday rejected calls to stop the Russia-backed Syrian regime’s offensive on Idlib, northwestern Syria, saying a ceasefire would amount to giving in to terrorists.

He told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva that a halt in the offensive “is capitulating before terrorists and even a reward for their activities in violation of international treaties and numerous UN Security Council resolutions.”

Lavrov accused some governments of wanting “to justify outrageous acts committed by radical and terrorist groupings. Otherwise, it would be difficult to explain admonishments about the possibility of concluding peace agreements with bandits,” he said, referring to the situation in Idlib.

The offensive launched by the Syrian regime and its ally, Russia, against armed opposition groups backed by Turkey in the Syrian governorate of Idlib since December last year has led to the displacement of 900,000 people.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that he plans to hold a summit on 5 March with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany on the escalating conflict in Syria. However, he announced yesterday that there was no “full agreement” on holding the meeting.

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