Turkey says ceasefire not yet secured in Syria's Idlib

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday (June 13th) said a ceasefire had not been fully secured in Syria's north-western Idlib province, despite an announcement by Moscow, AFP reported.

"We are working hard with Russia to stop these attacks. It is not possible to say a complete ceasefire has been secured," Cavusoglu told a press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Ankara.

Moscow announced a ceasefire was brokered with Turkey in the Idlib de-escalation zone as of midnight on June 12th, after weeks of escalating rocket fire and airstrikes by the Syrian regime and Russian forces.

Cavusoglu said there were "serious and sincere efforts" with Moscow to stop the violence, but said a full cessation had not been realised.

He also confirmed an earlier report that Syrian government forces had launched mortar attacks on a Turkish observation post in Idlib, injuring three soldiers.

"If the regime continues these attacks, we will do what is necessary," Cavusoglu said and called on Russia and Iran, who support the Syrian government, to "fulfill their responsibility".

The Syrian government and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing more than 360 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Cavusoglu accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of seeking a military rather than a peaceful solution.

"We are seeing the increased attacks by the regime, especially targeting hospitals, schools and civilians recently in Idlib," he said. "This is a disaster in every manner."

Le Drian said the priority in Idlib must be to "restore calm and serenity to avoid a new humanitarian disaster".

"We call on the Syrian regime and its supporters to stop their indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Idlib," he said.

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