The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the growing risks of a humanitarian catastrophe in the event of a full‑scale military operation in Idlib Province in Syria. The Secretary‑General once again reaffirms that any use of chemical weapons is totally unacceptable.
The Secretary‑General urgently appeals to the Government of Syria and all parties to exercise restraint and to prioritize the protection of civilians. He calls on the Astana guarantors to step up efforts to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Idlib, the last remaining de‑escalation zone.
The Secretary‑General further calls on all parties to take all necessary measures to safeguard civilian lives, allow freedom of movement and protect civilian infrastructure, including medical and educational facilities, in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.