Turkey on Wednesday expressed “concern” over the latest reports that Assad regime forces have stepped up attacks on the Daraa al-Balad neighborhood in southwestern Syria.
“We are following developments in Daraa closely with concern,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a written statement.
Citing the Assad regime’s intense attacks on civilians there, Bilgic said it was “unacceptable” that the Daraa al-Balad neighborhood and its surroundings were under siege and that civilians were forced to flee.
He also rejected claims that Turkey had accepted and would accept civilians from Syria in attempts to mediate between the Assad regime and opposition groups.
Turkey expects the ceasefire agreement that entered into force on September 6 to be “permanent” this time around and that the inhumane treatment of Daraa residents will end, Bilgic added.
Daraa al-Balad was stranded by regime forces on June 25 after residents, including former members of the Syrian opposition, resisted orders to hand over small arms and to allow government forces. regime to search houses in the area.
Daraa, known as the birthplace of the Syrian revolution, is home to 40,000 residents and was an opposition stronghold until 2018.
Syria has been ravaged by civil war since early 2011, when Bashar al-Assad’s regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.