Turkey's UN envoy demands immediate cease-fire in idlib

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Turkey's UN envoy demanded an "immediate and complete" cease-fire to halt all military operations in northwestern Syria's Idlib province on Tuesday.

"We invite the international community to vocally and actively support our efforts to this end," Feridun Sinirlioglu told the Security Council during a session on the province.

The call comes as Russia, Iran and the Assad regime increase military operations in Idlib amid fears of a humanitarian catastrophe there.

Since the beginning of September, at least 30 civilians have been killed in Idlib and Hama, and dozens injured, by airstrikes and attacks by the regime and Russian warplanes, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency.

The UN warned Monday at least 30,000 residents in Idlib have been displaced in the first nine days of this month amid a Russian and regime air campaign there.

Sinirlioglu warned "an all-out military operation would result in a major humanitarian catastrophe. Such an operation would trigger a massive wave of refugees and tremendous security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond."

"With all our generosity, we have gone to extraordinary lengths to alleviate suffering of the Syrian people, hosting some 3.5 million refugees, more than any other country in the world. But let us face it: we have exceeded long ago the limits of our capacity," he said.

Last week, the UN warned an offensive on Idlib would likely lead to the “worst humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century.”