BRUSSELS, February 21. /TASS/. The leaders of the 27 EU member states call on all parties in the Syrian conflict to immediately cease hostilities in Idlib province, the statement of the Europan Council said.
"The renewed military offensive in Idlib by the Syrian regime and its backers, casuing enormous human suffering, is unacceptable," the statement said. "The EU calls on all actors to cease hostilities immediately," the statement added.
"The EU reiterates, in the strongest possible terms, its calls on all parties to put in place a sustainable ceasefire, guarantee the protection of civilians and fully implement their commitments under the Sochi Memorandum of 17 September 2018," the statement stressed.
"The EU urges all parties to the conflict to fully respect its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law and to allow unimpeded and direct humanitarian access to all those in need," the statement said.
"Accountability for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law is of utmost importance. For this reason the EU reiterates its call for the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court. The EU is committed to strengthening its humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable civilian population in the Idlib area," the statement added.
The situation in Idlib escalated at the start of February after Russian and Turkish forces made another attempt to introduce a ceasefire regime. In response, terrorists only stepped up their attacks. On February 11, the Syrian opposition with Turkey's support launched an offensive at the Syrian forces in Saraqib and Neirab in Idlib province. The Syrian army repelled the attacks.
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to use all of its military force in case of an operation in Idlib. He added that a military operation in Idlib is "only a matter of time.".