File Photo: A member of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) looks through binoculars from Mount Bental, an observation post in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights near the ceasefire line between Israeland Syria, on Feb. 10, 2018. The Israeli army launched a large-scale attack against the Syrian aerial defense system and Iranian targets in Syria after an Israeli F-16 fighter was hit by missiles from Syria and crashed. (Xinhua/JINI)
UNITED NATIONS, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The UN special envoy for the Syria crisis, Staffan de Mistura, on Wednesday called for de-escalation in Syria.
"De-escalation is critical, between both the Syrian and international stakeholders -- both regional and global. We hope that the relevant players can re-establish some overarching 'rules of the road' in that regard," he told the Security Council.
He warned that the recent reports of fighting in Syria involving Israel and Iran were signs of a worrying escalation to a situation not seen in the region since 1973.
De Mistura also expressed concern over the situation in Idlib province. He warned that if Idlib repeats the situation in Eastern Ghouta, it could be much worse.
"We are talking about 110,000 people who have been evacuated to northwestern Syria and Euphrates Shield areas in the past two months. Many are reportedly traumatized and in urgent need of assistance and protection," he told the council via a video teleconference from Geneva.
"If we see a Ghouta scenario in Idlib, this could be six times, I repeat six times, worse, affecting 2.3 million people there, of which half of them are already IDPs (internally displaced persons), who will have nowhere to go because there is no other place to go once they are up there."
De Mistura stressed the importance of reviving the political process, both in terms of the formation of a constitutional committee and also in terms of some initial steps toward establishing a safe, calm and neutral environment.