The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is deeply alarmed by the military offensive in south‑western Syria and its devastating toll on civilians. He calls for an immediate cessation of the military operations. The Secretary‑General recalls that the south‑west area of Syria is part of a de‑escalation agreement agreed between Jordan, Russian Federation and the United States in Amman in July 2017, and calls on its guarantors to uphold their commitments.
The Secretary-General calls on all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law, protect civilians and facilitate safe, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access. All stakeholders must immediately stop attacks directed against medical and educational facilities and put in place security conditions for United Nations cross‑border humanitarian deliveries to resume without further delay.
The Secretary‑General urges the international community to unite to put an end to this expanding conflict, which risks further destabilizing the region and worsening the deep humanitarian crisis in Syria and neighbouring States. He calls upon all concerned to focus on moving the political process forward, building on the recent consultations in Geneva. The Secretary‑General and his Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will continue to do their utmost in the pursuit of this goal.