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Syria: UN chief warns of "humanitarian catastrophe" in Idleb

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Wednesday against "the growing risks of a humanitarian catastrophe in case of a large-scale military operation in Idleb province in Syria" .

In a statement following a similar warning on 21 August in Washington, DC, London and Paris, Antonio Guterres also points out that "any use of chemical weapons is totally unacceptable".

"The Secretary-General urges the Syrian Government and all parties to exercise restraint and focus on the protection of civilians," the statement added.

million. Guterres asks the guarantors of the Astana agreements (Russia, Turkey and Iran) "to multiply their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Idleb," says the text. It again calls on all parties to "take all possible measures to save the lives of civilians, allow freedom of movement, and protect civilian infrastructure, including medical and school facilities".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday called for the definitive elimination of the "last big focus" of terrorists in Idlib, Syria, calling the de-escalation zone an "abscess" that needs to be liquidated.

Speaker at a press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel ben Ahmed al-Joubeir, Sergei Lavrov, denounced the presence and acts of terrorists in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

"This is the last big terrorist hotbed that is trying to speculate on the status of the de-escalation zone and is taking hostage civilians as human shields. Leaders of terrorist groups prevent their elements ready to negotiate with the government their surrender, "said the head of Russian diplomacy before adding that" to all points of view, this abscess must be liquidated. "

He also denounced "provocations with alleged use of chemical weapons that were being prepared in Idlib by Western countries in order to perpetuate the terrorist organization Front al-Nusra in the region."

"It seems that this subject, just like the threats made against the Syrian government, have a single objective not to allow the expulsion of terrorists from the Idlib de-escalation zone," he said. Lavrov said he had consultations on the matter with his Saudi counterpart Adel bin Ahmed al-Joubeir.

"I hope our Western partners will not encourage provocations, will not hinder the anti-terrorist operation" in Idlib, he said.

A Syrian army offensive to free Idlib from the grip of terrorism is imminent, but the Syrian government wants to exhaust all political channels and conditions for dialogue with armed groups in that province.

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