February 21, 2020 / 6:15 PM / in a month

U.N. chief urges halt to fighting in Syria's Idlib

FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressee a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia February 8, 2020. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib region “to end the humanitarian catastrophe and now also to avoid an uncontrollable escalation.”

“For almost a year we have seen a series of Syrian government ground offensives supported by Russian airstrikes. This month there have been repeated deadly clashes between Turkish and Syrian Government forces,” Guterres said.

“This man-made humanitarian nightmare for the long-suffering Syrian people must stop. It must stop now,” he told reporters in New York.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Susan Heavey

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