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Turkey urges global support for cease-fire in Syria’s Idlib

UNITED NATIONS — Turkey is urging the international community “to vocally and actively support” Turkish calls for a cease-fire in Syria’s last rebel-held stronghold in neighboring Idlib province where Syria and its allies have intensified attacks ahead of an expected offensive.

Turkey’s Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu made the appeal after telling the U.N. Security Council that President Bashar Assad’s regime seeks to legitimize its military operation in Idlib on the grounds that it’s fighting terrorism.

He warned that such an offensive would only “create further suffering, alienate and radicalize more Syrians” and “play into the hands of terrorists.” He also warned that “an all-out military operation would result in a major humanitarian catastrophe” and “trigger a massive wave of refugees.”

That warning was echoed later by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.