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United Nations Security Council head appeals to Turkey for restraint in Syria

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

AFP New York Oct 09, 2019, 08.27 PM (IST)

The United Nations Security Council's president, South African ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila, appealed to Turkey Wednesday to "protect civilians" and exercise "maximum restraint" in its military operations in Syria.

Matjila expressed hope the council could meet quickly on the situation but stressed it was up to drafters of resolutions on Syria to convene such a session.

Belgium, Germany and Kuwait are the council members designated to follow the humanitarian situation in Syria, so it would fall to them to convene a council session.

The South African diplomat, who holds the council presidency for the month of October, spoke before the start of a meeting devoted to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier announced the start of a military operation against a western-backed Kurdish militia in Syria that Ankara has long regarded as a foe.