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UN mediator warns of increasing violence in Syria

UN mediator warns of increasing violence in Syria
From CBC - February 14, 2018

The United Nations Syria peacemediator warned on Wednesday that a recent increase in violencehas created one of the most dangerous moments in years of civilwar there, as the government bombards rebel areas and foreignpowers further intervene.

"I have been now four years

[as] special envoy, this is aviolent and worrying and dangerous a moment as any that I haveseen in my time," Staffan de Mistura told the UN Security Council.

Last week was one of the bloodiest in the nearlyseven-year-old conflict as Syrian government forces, backed byRussia and Iran, bombarded two of the last major rebel areas:Eastern Ghouta and the northwestern province of Idlib.

The 15-member Security Council is currently negotiating apossible resolution, drafted by Kuwait and Sweden, that woulddemand a 30-day ceasefire in Syria to allow the delivery of aidand the evacuation of sick and wounded.

Regional stability at risk

The multi-sided conflict is also raging elsewhere, withTurkey waging an offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces in theAfrin region of northwestern Syria, while on Saturday, Syriangovernment anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli warplanereturning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria.

"What we are seeing in Syria today not only imperils the de-escalation arrangements and regional stability, it alsoundermines the efforts for a political solution. Yet we will notbe deterred from pursuing the Geneva process, which is the onlysustainable path toward a political solution," De Mistura said.

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