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Syria: Guterres (UN), “hundreds of dead and injured and over 150,000 displaced” in north-western area. “Observe ceasefire”

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres is following with “great concern” the escalation of hostilities in north-western Syria involving Syrian Government forces and their allies, armed opposition forces, and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. In particular, he is alarmed by reports of aerial attacks on population centers and civilian infrastructure which have left hundreds of civilians dead and injured and over 150,000 newly displaced persons. On 5 May, three health facilities were reportedly hit by airstrikes, bringing the total to at least 7 struck since 28 April. Nine schools have reportedly been hit since 30 April, and schools in many areas have been closed until further notice. Mr Guterres urges all parties to the conflict to “uphold international humanitarian law and protect civilians”. He calls for an urgent de-escalation of the situation “as the holy month of Ramadan begins”, urges the parties to “recommit fully to the ceasefire arrangements of the memorandum signed on 17 September 2018”, and calls on “the Astana guarantors to ensure that this takes place”.

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