German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the attacks in Idlib province in Syria, “must have an end.” He called for a political solution to the crisis, in an interview with a German newspaper.
The recent attacks on civilians in the war-stricken province where millions have fled intense fighting was a “humanitarian catastrophe” Maas said in an interview with Thursday’s Süddeutsche Zeitung.
He added that images coming out of the province had awoke feelings of “anger and frustration” in him.
Fighting in recent days between Russian-backed Syrian government forces, under leadership of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey-backed insurgents has intensified. Assad’s forces are seeking to reclaim ground held by insurgents around Idlib, but Turkey has been pushing back, hoping to avoid the millions of civilians in the region from spilling over its border. Deaths of civilians, including children, are increasingly being reported.
A Russian-Turkish solution
“There is a Turkish-Russian arrangement there for de-escalation. Unfortunately we currently have the opposite.”
Maas also stated that a solution involving Turkey, Russia and President Bashar al-Assad was necessary to end the war.
Germany had made it “very clear” to Russia that it must assert its influence on the Bashar al-Assad regime, but that “Assad must accept the gruesome deaths of an unprotected population” that he has caused in Syria.”
Germany’s foreign minister also sees a role for Germany, saying his country is doing everything “to afford contributions to de-escalation.”
He added his voice to growing concern that the violence wouldcause a new wave of refugees to flee over the border to Turkey — the country has already taken in around three million refugees.