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Netherlands calls for no-fly zone over Idlib for Assad Open in fullscreen

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Netherlands calls for no-fly zone over Idlib for Assad

A recent report found that conflict has rendered large parts of northwest Syria uninhabitable [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 March, 2020

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The Netherlands' foreign minister believes a no-fly zone over Idlib would be a small step towards de-escalation and a political process in Syria.
The Netherlands has called for a no-fly zone for Syrian regime president Bashar al-Assad over the northwestern province of Idlib, according to a statement on Wednesday by the European country's foreign minister.

Citing concerns over the "humanitarian catastrophe" in Idlib, Netherlands Foreign Minister Stef Blok stated "small, modest steps" must be taken towards de-escalation and a political process.

The foreign minister called for a no-fly zone for Assad over Idlib, with an international monitoring of the airspace closure.

"The EU needs to consult with Russia and Turkey, so that Assad has no choice but to keep his air force on the ground," Blok wrote.

The foreign minister also encouraged the European Union to "engage in dialogue" with Russia.

"We agree with Moscow on important points of principle, such as the inviolability of Syria's territorial integrity," Blok stated.

Blok also noted the Netherlands is committing extra funds for Idlib's humanitarian needs.

A report published this week found that fighting in northwest Syria has rendered large parts of the region uninhabitable for civilians now crammed into an ever-shrinking area where conditions are dire.

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