The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The Secretary-General is following with great concern the intensifying hostilities in the de-escalation area of north-western Syria involving Syrian Government forces and their allies, armed opposition forces and Hayat Tahrir al‑Sham. He is alarmed by reports of aerial attacks on population centres and civilian infrastructure resulting in hundreds of civilian dead and injured and over 150,000 newly displaced persons.
On 5 May, three health facilities were reportedly hit by air strikes, bringing the total to at least seven struck since 28 April. Nine schools have reportedly been hit since 30 April, and schools in many areas have been closed until further notice.
The Secretary-General urges all parties to uphold international humanitarian law and protect civilians. He calls for an urgent de-escalation of the situation as the holy month of Ramadan begins and urges the parties to recommit fully to the ceasefire arrangements of the memorandum signed on 17 September 2018. He urges the Astana guarantors to ensure that this takes place.