Northwest Syria

The humanitarian situation in Idlib is extremely serious. There is a major concern with the ongoing military action by Russia and the Syrian regime in Idlib, including strikes which have hit civilian infrastructure. It is important that all parties respect the de-escalation zone and agreed ceasefire, abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and act to protect civilians.

Officials frequently discuss the violence against civilians in Idlib with Russia and China in meetings of the UN Security Council. The UK was recently involved in textual negotiations with Russia and China and other Security Council members on a draft resolution on Idlib which was, unfortunately, vetoed by Russia and China on 19 September 2019.

The Department for International Development (DFID) continues to closely monitor the situation in Northwest Syria, and Ministers are concerned about the impact of escalations of violence on civilians. DFID support continues to provide Syrians with shelter, clean water and sanitation, mental health services, as well as aiding health workers and facilities that have been affected by escalating violence. In 2018 alone, DFID support in Idlib provided approximately 836,000 people with access to clean drinking water, 873,000 medical consultations, 69,000 food rations and access to formal education for 110,000 children.

The UK is playing an active role in the region, and I will continue to follow developments.