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Pompeo calls for Idlib cease-fire

The US secretary of state calls for an Idlib cease-fire as the UN and aid groups warn the exodus marks the largest humanitarian crisis in the nine-year Syrian war.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., February 25, 2020.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RC2R7F91KIKZ

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today called for a permanent cease-fire in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, warning that a Russian-backed Syrian regime offensive that has driven a million civilians to flee toward the Turkish border could grow to imperil 3 million people. Aid groups also pleaded for a halt to the violence that has fueled the largest wave of displacement in the nine-year Syrian war as some former US diplomats and experts called for consideration of a Syria safe zone.

“The Assad regime’s brutal new aggression there, cynically backed by Moscow and Tehran, imperils now more than 3 million displaced persons, including, as we’ve tragically seen, young people,” Pompeo told journalists at the State Department today. “As we’ve said many times before, the regime will not be able to obtain military victory.”

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