New Syria violence breaches international law: EU

Air attacks and shelling of schools and hospitals in north-west Syria amount to "an unacceptable violation of international law", the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday (May 8th).

The uptick in fighting in the last few days between Russian-backed Syrian government forces and extremists in the Idlib region have left dozens dead and displaced an estimated 150,000 people or more, AFP reported.

The UN Security Council is due to meet Friday to discuss the violence.

Ten civilians were killed in the Idlib region Wednesday in air raids by Syrian government forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The deaths took place in an area where Tahrir al-Sham is active.

"The recent military escalation in north-western Syria, with air attacks and artillery shelling targeting schools and hospitals, including with the use of barrel bombs, is an unacceptable violation of international law," Mogherini said.

"Far too many lives have been lost, far too much suffering has been inflicted to the Syrian people," Mogherini said in a statement.

"The EU recalls that Russia and Turkey, as the guarantors of the Sochi agreement, have an obligation to ensure its implementation," Mogherini said

She was referring to an accord struck in the Russian resort of Sochi by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Under the September 17th truce deal, Turkey would exert its influence over anti-regime groups in the Idlib region to have them pull back fighters and heavy weapons from a demilitarised zone.

Mogherini warned that a further escalation could jeopardise the work of the UN special envoy, Geir Pedersen, to resume talks between the Syrian parties in Geneva.

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