UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pederson demanded Turkey and Russia do their part Wednesday to deescalate the conflict in Syria's Idlib region.
"Turkey and Russia, as the sponsors of the Idlib deescalation arrangements, can and must play key role finding a way to deescalate situation now," Pederson told the UN Security Council in a teleconference in Geneva.
The envoy said Russian and Turkish delegations met intensively in Ankara, Munich and Moscow and there had been presidential contacts between the leaders of the two countries. "But no understanding has yet emerged."
He reiterated the UN is alarmed by the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in northwest Syria and the tragic suffering of civilians.
"The potential for further mass displacement and even more catastrophic human suffering is apparent, as an increasing number of people are hemmed into an ever-shrinking space," he added.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib province into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
But since more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces, flouting both the 2018 cease-fire and a new one that started Jan. 12.
Assad regime advances have forced more than 1.7 million civilians to flee toward the border with Turkey, which already hosts greater than 3.7 million Syrians, and the largest number of refugees in the world.