By Cindi Cook
PARIS (AA) - Joining an international chorus of criticism, France’s president today denounced continuing Assad regime attacks targeting civilians in Idlib, northwestern Syria.
"I strongly condemn the attacks of the Bashar Assad regime against the civilian population in Idlib," Emmanuel Macron told reporters while arriving at an European Union leaders summit in Brussels, the EU capital.
"There is no reason for not respecting international humanitarian law," he stated, adding that the attacks also target civilian institutions and healthcare centers.
The UN Security Council, he said, must take responsibility and step in more strongly on the situation.
His hope for France is for the combat to end as soon as possible, he added.
"I have seen one of the worst human dramas in Idlib over the past several weeks."
Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN figures.
Idlib falls within a de-escalation zone laid out in a deal between Turkey and Russia in late 2018. The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the territory where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to about 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.
Some 1 million Idlib refugees have moved towards the nearby Turkish border in recent months, fleeing attacks by the Assad regime and its allies, and producing a desperate humanitarian situation.
Turkey has called for an immediate halt to the attacks on Idlib, and for the cease-fire to be followed, warning that if the attacks do not stop Turkey will act.