Russia rejects idea of truce with Syria’s rebels

Russia announced on Tuesday it would never agree to a ceasefire with the rebels in Syria’s Idlib region. The announcement comes as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 19 civilians, including children, were killed in Idlib, which is the last rebel-held part of the country.
“Russia would never agree to a truce akin to surrender to terrorists. Such a truce would encourage them to continue blatantly violating universal conventions. This is not concern about human rights, this is capitulating before terrorists and even a reward for their activities”, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said at UN meeting in Geneva.
Russia and Turkey support opposing sides in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Russia has insisted that Turkey removes extremist militant groups from Idlib.  Erdogan announced he would hold a summit with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany on 5 March to discuss the escalating violence in Idlib.
The announcement came after Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad made major gains in northwestern Syria that led to his troops, consolidating control over Aleppo province. Erdogan warned Assad to halt the advance, which also risks shattering an alliance forged between Russia, who backs Assad, and Turkey, who backs the rebels.
“We are urging parties to allow civilians to move to safety, either in areas they control or across the front lines”, said The International Committee of the Red Cross, and reminded the warring sides that hospitals, markets and schools are protected by law.
The war in Syria started with a popular movement against Assad’s rule that was brutally repressed. More than 380,000 people were killed in nine years and about half of the country’s population is displaced.



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