By staff and agency

UN chief calls on Iran, Russia and Turkey to find political solution to Syrian crisis

February 19, 2020 - 15:4

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an immediate cease-fire in Syria, urging Turkey, Russia and Iran to find a political solution.

In an interview with AP published on Tuesday, Guterres said that the suffering of Syrians is “horrible”.

Over the past week, thousands of desperate families have been fleeing the war in western Aleppo, many of them leaving their homes for the third or fourth time in a seemingly futile search for safety, the Independent reported.

At the same time, inside the city itself, crowds of government supporters took to the streets to celebrate the rout of rebel forces and terrorists on its outskirts, and the Syrian army announced a strategic victory in the long-running battle for Aleppo.  

According to Al-Masdar News, Saadallah Al-Jabri Square in Aleppo witnessed a mass gathering to celebrate the victories of the Syrian army, including the capture of the last terrorist-held areas in the northwestern part of the city.

Sheikh Ahmad Wais, the Imam of the famous Al-Hassan in the Al-Hamdaniyah District, told Sputnik Arabic that the victory of Aleppo is a prelude to the great victory that will be achieved over all of Syria’s occupied territories.

Government troops captured more than 30 villages in the western countryside of Aleppo over the weekend. In doing so, they put the country’s second city out of reach of rebel and terrorist fire for the first time in years and cemented control of the former commercial hub’s link to the capital, Damascus. 

In a televised address on Monday, President Bashar al-Assad promised to push on further with the offensive. 

“This liberation does not mean the end of the war, and does not mean the end of the schemes nor the end of terrorism or the surrender of enemies,” he said. 

“But it means that we rubbed their noses in the dirt as a prelude for complete victory and ahead of their defeat, sooner or later.”

Government forces are pushing further into the last bastion of Idlib and western Aleppo, which is controlled by both opposition and terrorist groups who have united to fight off the attack, among them the extremist Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham. 

The UN has called on Russia and Turkey, which backs a number of rebel groups and has its own forces stationed in Idlib, to agree to broker another ceasefire to allow humanitarian groups to assist those in need. 

On Tuesday, a Turkish delegation ended two days of talks with Russian officials in Moscow with no statements made.

Amid the fight to liberate Idlib, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met the Syrian president in Damascus on Sunday. The two officials said Syria and Iran determined to do their best to put an end to the evil phenomenon of terrorism in the war-hit Syria.

Larijani said, “Iran will continue supporting Syria in the war on terrorism.”

NA/PA
 

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