13:11 GMT +316 October 2019
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    A picture taken on October 21, 2014 from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the Quneitra border crossing with Israel shows smoke billowing from buildings in Syrian territory, following fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebel fighters.

    UN Secretary-General Demands End to 'Military Escalation' in Syria – Spokesman

    © AFP 2019 / Jalaa Marey
    Middle East
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    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is concerned about fighting in southwestern Syria which, he said, has displaced thousands of civilians and poses a threat to regional security, according to his spokesman.

    "The Secretary-General is gravely concerned by the recent military escalation, including ground offensives and aerial bombardments, in southwestern Syria," Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

    The United Nations estimates that the fighting near the border with Jordan and Israel-occupied Golan Heights has forced thousands of civilians to flee, with many moving toward Jordan.

    "The Secretary-General is also concerned at the significant risks these offensives pose to regional security," his spokesman said. "He calls for an immediate end to the current military escalation and urges all stakeholders to respect their obligations."

    Moreover, Antonio Guterres also called for an instant end to the military escalation in the embattled region.

    "The attacks have resulted in the displacement of thousands of civilians, the majority of whom are moving towards the Jordanian border," Stephane Dujarric emphasized in a statement.

    US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued a statement on Thursday citing reports of an offensive by the Syrian government in the southwest and warning against incursions into the Daraa, Quneitra and Suwayda ceasefire zones, agreed by the United States, Russia and Jordan.


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