UN Security Council to hold emergency session on Syria

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The UN Security Council will meet Thursday for an emergency session on Syria following clashes between the Turkish and Syrian military, diplomats said Wednesday.

They said the meeting was requested by the United States, France and Britain. UN envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen is expected to report on the situation in Idlib, the northwestern Syrian province where the two armies clashed on Monday, the diplomats said.

More than 20 people were killed in the exchanges of fire, threatening to further destabilize the Idlib region, already suffering a humanitarian crisis.

An offensive by the Damascus regime, backed by Russian air power, against the last stronghold of extremist and rebel opponents has drawn strong warnings from Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“If the regime does not pull back, Turkey will be obliged to take matters into its own hands,” Erdogan said in Ankara Wednesday.

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a “cessation of hostilities” between Turkey and Syria, calling the fighting an “extremely worrying” escalation.

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