UN Special Envoy for Syria Expresses Concern over Escalation in Southern Syria

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The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, said he is deeply concerned about the increase of hostilities and escalation in southern Syria, which has been witnessing heavy shelling and intense clashes that left civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure, forcing thousands of civilians to flee from Daraa al-Balad area.

During the meeting of the Working Group on Humanitarian Affairs of the International Syria Support Group, which was held in Geneva today, Pedersen renewed his call for an immediate cessation of violence, and the need to adhere to the principle of protecting civilians and civilian property as per the provisions of international humanitarian law.

The UN envoy stressed the need to allow immediate, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to all affected areas and communities, including Daraa, and to end the status quo that resembles a siege.

To that end, Pedersen continues his efforts with all concerned and international parties to end the crisis, warning of the possibility of increased confrontations and further deterioration unless there is an immediate calm and a political solution to the crisis, urging all parties to adhere to and fully implement the Security Council Resolution 2585.

Tension continues in other areas, with an escalation in violence in northwest Syria, and the persistence of many challenges related to water security in northeastern Syria, where the situation is in dire need of a nationwide ceasefire and a comprehensive political solution in line with UNSC resolution 2254.