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United Nation Chief Calls for End to Fighting in South Syria

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for an immediate end to a military escalation in southwest Syria and a return to ceasefire arrangements agreed by Russia, the United States and Jordan.

Guterres said he was “gravely concerned” by the recent upsurge in fighting from the Syrian government offensive, saying it posed “significant risks” to regional security.

He called for “an immediate end to the current military escalation” and urged all sides to uphold the ceasefire commitments “as a matter of priority.”

Jordan, Russia and the United States agreed last year to set up a de-escalation zone for the region that includes Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida. The area borders Jordan and the occupied Golan Heights.

Guterres is scheduled to hold talks Saturday in Washington with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Separately, US Ambassador Nikki Haley urged Russia to pressure the Syrian government to uphold the truce.

“We expect Russia to do its part to respect and enforce the ceasefire it helped establish, and to use the influence it has to stop the Syrian regime’s violations and any further destabilizing actions in the southwest and throughout Syria.”

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