UN Security Council to meet on Syria's Idlib

The U.N. Security Council will on Feb. 28 hold an emergency meeting on the latest developments in Syria. The meeting comes in the wake of the death of 33 Turkish troops in Idlib.


The United Nations Security Council is due to meet on Feb. 28 over the latest developments in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib at the request of the United States, Britain, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, France and Dominican Republic.

Refugees in Turkey headed towards European frontiers on Feb. 28 after an official declared that borders had been thrown open, a response to the escalating war in Syria where 33 Turkish soldiers were killed by Russian-backed Syrian government troops.

Chronology of one of the deadliest attacks on Turkish soldiers in the Republic's historyChronology of one of the deadliest attacks on Turkish soldiers in the Republic's history

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

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Feb. 28 described the escalation in Idlib as "one of the most alarming moments" of the nine-year-old war and called for an immediate ceasefire.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, supported by Russian air power, have been fighting to retake the last large, rebel-held region in Syria after nine years of war. Turkey has sent thousands of troops and heavy military hardware into Idlib region in an unprecedented incursion to back the rebels.

"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."

Nearly a million Syrians have fled over the last three months, the biggest exodus of the conflict. A crackdown by Assad on pro-democracy protesters in 2011 led to civil war.

Senior U.N. officials dealing with the humanitarian situation in northwest Syria on Feb. 27 appealed for help from the 15-member Security Council, which has long been divided on how to deal with Syria. Russia had vetoed 14 draft resolutions during the war.