U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Statement by Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson
March 14, 2019
The United States views with grave concern escalating violence in recent days in Idlib and neighboring areas prompted by Russian and Assad regime airstrikes and artillery. Despite Russia’s claims to be targeting terrorists, these operations have caused dozens of civilian casualties and have targeted first responders as they attempt to save lives on the ground. These abhorrent attacks on civilian infrastructure and on settlements for internally displaced people must end now.
The United States reiterates that this escalation of attacks against Idlib threatens to destabilize the surrounding region and worsen Syria’s already existing humanitarian catastrophe. As a party to the September 2018 Idlib ceasefire agreement with Turkey, Russia bears full responsibility for these offensive operations against northern Hama and southern Idlib. We call on all parties, including Russia and the Syrian regime, to abide by their commitments and de-escalate violence in the area, protect all civilians, including humanitarian aid workers, and allow unhindered humanitarian access to address the humanitarian disaster created by the Assad regime’s forces.