Arab League calls for immediate cease-fire in northwestern Syria

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Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit (C) attends an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, on Feb. 1, 2020. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said here on Saturday that his authority informed the Israeli and U.S. sides that it will
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit (C) attends an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, on Feb. 1, 2020. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said here on Saturday that his authority informed the Israeli and U.S. sides that it will "cut all relations" with them over the recently released U.S. peace plan. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Saturday called for “immediate cease-fire” between all warring parties in northwestern Syria, the Cairo-based pan-Arab organization said in a statement.

The AL chief warned against “the seriousness of escalated military confrontations resulting from regional and international interventions in the Syrian arena.”

Tension is growing between the Turkish and Syrian armies in the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib, the last stronghold of Ankara-backed Syrian rebels.

Turkey has recently announced the deadly attack on Syrian military positions in response to Thursday night’s air raids by the Syrian army on Turkish forces in Idlib, which killed at least 33 Turkish soldiers and wounded several others.

“Military escalation in northwestern Syria has formed a model of blatant violation of humanitarian international law and caused an unprecedented humanitarian disaster by displacing more than 1 million Syrians,” Aboul-Gheit said in the statement.

He also called for earnest negotiations sponsored by the United Nations to activate the political course and push for implementing the political process according to the UN Security Council Revolution 2254.

Meanwhile, Turkey has been sending military reinforcements to Idlib, while the Syrian army has been carrying out a military campaign backed by Russian air power to restore the northwestern region since December 2019.

Following the 2011 anti-government mass protests, the situation in Syria spiralled into a civil war of confrontations between pro-government forces and armed rebels and terrorists from the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are backed by Russia, Iran and Shiite militias loyal to Iran such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Since its eruption in March 2011, the Syrian crisis has killed half a million and wounded or displaced more than 14 million others.

Neighboring Turkey alone hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees. Enditem

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