Turkey says attacks on Syria's Idlib must stop, calls for ceasefire

Intense air raids reported on edge of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

The U.N. envoy for Syria hosted key diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey on Tuesday to discuss work toward rewriting the country's constitution, amid concerns about a possibly devastating military offensive on rebel-held Idlib province.

Britain and France backed the call for a ceasefire, recalling that these had been agreed under arrangements for a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib that were overseen by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

In the newspaper article, Erdogan called on the worldwide community to take action and warned that "the entire world stands to pay the price" otherwise.

Turkey on Tuesday appealed for global backing for a ceasefire in Idlib, telling the UN Security Council that an all-out assault on Syria's rebel-held province will trigger a massive wave of refugees and could threaten Europe. "The consequences of inaction are enormous".

"A regime assault would also create serious humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond", he would add. Russia, Turkey and Iran have been working together as "guarantors" for a series of talks around ending Syria's war.

"It is a disgusting tactic of terrorists, not professional soldiers", she said.

On Tuesday, Erdogan said Russian Federation and Iran were also responsible for stopping a humanitarian disaster in Idlib and said the global community had to "throw its weight behind a political solution".

Air and ground attacks on Syria's Idlib must stop and a ceasefire must be established in the area, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was reported as saying by broadcaster NTV on Monday.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said Syrian forces, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, had already launched 100 air strikes on Idlib this month and that their sole aim was "a bloody military conquest of Idlib".

"We strongly agree with President Erdogan", Karen Pierce told the UN Security Council citing an op-ed penned by Erdogan.

Erdogan said that a focus on the potential use of chemical weapons alone was not enough.

"As a result of the Syrian civil war, which the United Nations Human Rights Council calls "the worst man-made disaster since World War II", millions of innocent people have become refugees or have been internally displaced", he said. Turkey has taken in 3.5 million refugees from its neighbor.

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