U.N. chief: killing of Turkish troops one of 'most alarming moments' of Syria war

U.N. chief: killing of Turkish troops one of
# 29 February 2020 05:39 (UTC +04:00)

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday described an escalation in fighting in northwest Syria that killed dozens of Turkish troops as “one of the most alarming moments” of the nine-year-old war and called for an immediate ceasefire, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The U.N. Security Council is due to meet later on Friday after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed by Russian-backed Syrian government troops in the deadliest attack suffered by Turkey’s army in nearly 30 years.

“The most pressing need is an immediate ceasefire before the situation gets entirely out of control,” Guterres told reporters in New York. “In all my contacts with those involved, I have had one simple message: step back from the edge of escalation.”

“I also reiterate my appeal for civilian protection,” he said. “Civilians are paying the gravest price ... And the noose keeps tightening, as the frontlines reach more densely populated areas.”