Airstrikes by the Syrian regime and its backers in north west Syria have killed at least 35 people, many of them civilians, women and children in the last few days. Yet another ceasefire has been flouted. More than 350,000 civilians have been displaced over the last month alone.
The renewal of the offensive in Idlib, including repeated airstrikes and shelling targeting civilians are unacceptable and must cease. The EU will keep the sanctions against the Assad regime under review as long as these brutal attacks continue.
We stress the utmost necessity of guaranteeing rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian organisations allowing them the delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in need. “Humanitarian corridors” cannot substitute for the full respect of international humanitarian law.
The presence of UN-listed terrorist groups in Idlib is an issue of concern for all. Fighting these groups, as authorised by the UN, does however not permit international humanitarian law to be ignored.
The priority continues to be the work towards a sustainable political settlement under the auspices of UN in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2254. Continued hostilities in Idlib risk destroying faith in the negotiated resolution of the conflict that is the only way forward.