Egypt expressed its deep concern over the escalation of military operations in Syria, according to an Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement Tuesday.
Egypt further condemned the endangering of civilian lives and the deaths of innocent Syrian citizens as a result of the ongoing conflict in the country.
On Sunday, airstrikes undertaken by the Syrian army occurred on a marketplace in the city of Douma, reportedly leaving approximately 100 people dead.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid stressed Egypt’s condemnation of all forms of terrorism and extremism aimed at terrorising Syrian citizens, and reiterated the call for a political solution to the Syrian crisis.
The UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, vigorously condemned the air raids on Douma. Syria’s SANA news agency cited a Syrian official as accusing de Mistura of bias in his recent statements, which he said “are far from objective”. The official hoped de Mistura would condemn shelling by “armed terrorist groups” such as “Islamic State”, the Al-Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria.
The comments came following de Mistura’s approach to resume peace negotiations between the Syrian parties. Egypt welcomed the UN’s adoption of de Mistura’s plan.
De Mistura proposed a new approach to work “towards political negotiations and a political transition”. This would occur by setting up “working groups” to hold consultations and discussions focused on four areas: “safety and protection for all; political and legal issues; military, security and counterterrorism issues; and continuity of public services and reconstruction and development.”
His peace approach noted that all parties should engage to continue discussions and consultations and build up on recent meetings in Moscow, Cairo, Paris and Astana. Syrian opposition figures met last June in Cairo to propose a “roadmap” entailing a negotiated political solution.
Syria’s membership in the Arab League has been suspended since November 2011, following the Syrian government’s intensified attacks on civilians.
The continuing crisis in Syria has left over 250,000 people dead, with 12 million forced to flee their homes. A further 12.2 million in Syria require urgent humanitarian assistance, according to the UN statement.
Syria has been witnessing a grave civil war mainly between the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad and Islamist groups, including “Islamic State”, which gained control over some parts on Syria.