Turkey 'concerned' over regime attacks on besieged Daraa

Turkey 'concerned' over regime attacks on besieged Daraa

Turkey concerned over regime attacks on besieged Daraa

Turkey on Sept. 8 expressed "concern" over the latest reports of Assad regime forces escalating attacks on the Daraa al-Balad neighborhood in southwestern Syria.

"We are closely monitoring the developments in Daraa with concern," Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said in a written statement.

Citing Assad regime's intense attacks targeting civilians there, Bilgiç said it is "unacceptable" that Daraa al-Balad neighborhood and its surroundings are besieged and civilians are forced to flee.

He also dismissed claims that Turkey had agreed to and would accept civilians coming from Syria during mediation attempts between the Assad regime and opposition groups.

Turkey expects the cease-fire agreement that went into effect on Sept. 6 to be "permanent" this time and the inhumane treatment of the people of Daraa to end, Bilgiç added.

Daraa al-Balad was blockaded by regime forces on June 25 after residents, including former members of the Syrian opposition, resisted an order to surrender light weapons and allow regime forces to search houses in the area.

Daraa, known as the birthplace of the Syrian revolution, is home to 40,000 residents and was an opposition stronghold until 2018.

Syria has been ravaged by civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.