Turkey calls for immediate halt to attacks in N Syria
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey on Sept. 11 called for the immediate halt to the attacks in Syria's northwestern Idlib province.
"We used every opportunity, even risking the lives of our own soldiers, to prevent the regime and its supporters from targeting civilian infrastructure in Idlib,” Sadık Arslan, Turkey's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, told a Human Rights Council meeting there.
"Unless those attacks halt immediately, the fallout of the humanitarian tragedy in Idlib could be much graver than the one experienced in 2015,” he warned.
According to the U.N., more than 1,000 civilians were killed in and around the Idlib demilitarized zone over the last four months.
Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime, however, has consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.
In his address, Arslan also touched on other major regional and international issues, particularly Palestine, Myanmar, and Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
"The inhumane blockade sustained by Israel stands as the heaviest hurdle for individuals in Gaza to the enjoyment of their most basic human rights," he said.
About human rights violations in Myanmar, Arslan said the crimes committed against the Rohingya people continue to be a source of "serious concern" for Turkey.
He also called on India to ease restrictions in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
"The decision of the Indian government to abolish the special status of Jammu-Kashmir is against the spirit of various U.N. Security Council resolutions.
"It bears the risk of further deterioration of the existing tension and may have serious repercussions beyond the region," he added.
The ambassador added that Turkey wants the issues resolved between India and Pakistan through peaceful means.
Arslan also called on the EU to fulfill its commitments on sharing the burden of immigration -- amid threats of a new migration wave from Idlib – since Turkey hosts more refugees than any country in the world.