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UN envoy underscores "worrying situation" around Idlib in NW Syria
June 28,2019   By:Xinhua
June 28,2019--  The UN envoy for Syria on Thursday underscored the "worrying situation" in the northwestern part of the country, noting continued civilian casualties.
 
Geir Pedersen, the UN secretary-general's special envoy for Syria, told the Security Council through a video briefing from Geneva that there is a "worrying situation" in and around the Idlib area.
 
In September 2018, Russia and Turkey brokered a cease-fire for Idlib, the last major stronghold of the rebels. The agreement averted a government offensive.
 
However, there have been reports of attacks by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a terrorist group designated by the Security Council, as well as close military exchanges between the Syrian government and Turkish observation posts in the region.
 
On Thursday, Pedersen lamented civilians continue to be killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in the de-escalation areas in the northwest of Syria.
 
"All due protection must be afforded to up to 3 million civilians in Idlib," he said.
 
The special envoy added that both Turkey and Russia have reassured him that they remain committed to the September 2018 memorandum of understanding, but he added "we need to see this implemented on the ground."
 
Reiterating "there is no military solution to this conflict," he pledged to seek a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process, with the priority being the launch of a credible, balanced and inclusive Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated constitutional committee.
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