UN chief reiterates suspension of hostilities in SW Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-06 05:54:44|Editor: xuxin
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UNITED NATIONS, July 5 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday once again appealed for an immediate suspension of the hostilities in southwestern Syria and the resumption of negotiations to appease the situation.

Speaking through his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, Guterres expressed concern by the resumption of the military offensive in the area and its continued devastating impact on civilians.

Nearly 150 civilians have been killed since the strikes in the area began, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

An estimated 750,000 lives are in danger and up to 325,000 people have been displaced as a result of the latest round of violence in southwestern Syria, said UN humanitarian tally.

The secretary-general also expressed support to the statement by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

"Clearly, the most immediate priority is to find a political solution to the conflict and spare Syrian civilians further suffering," Grandi said earlier Thursday.

The high commissioner also advocated for granting temporary refuge in Jordan to those in need of safety and for the international community to provide immediate and substantive support to Jordan.

Among the displaced, some 60,000 people are camping at the Nasib/Jaber border crossing between Syria and Jordan.

Guterres called on all parties to take all necessary measures to safeguard civilian lives, allow freedom of movement, and protect civilian infrastructure, in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

He further reiterated his call for the UN to be allowed to conduct humanitarian deliveries without further delay.

Last Friday, Guterres for the first time urged an immediate cessation of the military operations since the recent escalation of hostilities in southwestern Syria.

UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has recently warned that a full-scale battle in the country's previously calm southwest could engulf an area and population the size of eastern Ghouta and Aleppo combined.