Syria: Armed Conflict

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 8th February 2018.

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Photo of Dan Carden Dan Carden Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in (a) Russia, (b) Turkey, (c) Iran and (d) the US on encouraging the de-escalation of fighting in the Idleb governorate in Syria.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK strongly condemns the recent escalation of airstrikes and violence in Idleb governorate, where multiple and sustained airstrikes by pro-regime forces have killed scores of civilians. We are appalled by reports of airstrikes by pro-regime forces indiscriminately targeting medical facilities in the area and reports of use of chemical weapons. We are gravely concerned that the intensification of hostilities has reportedly displaced approximately 270,000 people within Idleb since 15 December 2017. UK officials raised our concerns regarding the situation at the weekly International Syria Support Group Humanitarian and Ceasefire Taskforces in Geneva, of which Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United States are all members, on 1 February. The UK’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York also raised our concerns in the UN Security Council on 5 February. I issued statements on 16 January and 2 February calling for these attacks to stop and for the Asad regime to allow immediate, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance.

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