Turkey slams Syria regime's 'inhuman' Daraa offensive
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, alongside Russia, began their brutal offensive against the Daraa province on June 19 with daily bombing and shelling.
Thursday was the bloodiest day yet after Russian strikes left 25 civilians dead, mostly in the town of al-Mseifra, reported the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister, blamed Russia, Iran and the US, saying they were "responsible for the regime's violations," reported the state news agency Anadolu.
"We strongly condemn these inhuman attacks" by the regime on "innocent" people, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
Both Turkey and Russia have supported opposing sides in the Syrian uprising, with Ankara repeatedly calling for Assad's ouster, and Moscow intervening military to prop up the regime since 2015.
Despite sitting on opposite sides, the two countries, alongside Assad's ally Iran, have been working to reach a political solution through the Astana based peace talks.
"These attacks hinder the efforts in Astana and (the UN-supported process in) Geneva to reduce violence on the ground and to find a political solution for the crisis," Aksoy added.
|[Click to enlarge]|
Daraa is one of the last opposition strongholds in the country.
Damascus began turning its attention south after it retook the last pockets in and around the Syrian capital that had remained under rebel or Islamic State group control earlier this year.
The regime had long said that Daraa - the birthplace of the Syrian uprising - would be next on the list.
The UN has warned that up to 750,000 people are at risk as a result of the week-old offensive in Daraa. At least 45,000 people have so far been displaced from their homes.