BERLIN (Reuters), AUGUST 27, 2018 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump shared concerns about developments in Syria, especially the humanitarian situation in the region around Idlib, their offices said on Monday after the leaders spoke by telephone.
“Both leaders called for international action to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Idlib Province,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“Russia is called upon to act in a moderating manner on the Syrian government and prevent a further escalation,” Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in a statement.
Seibert said the two leaders also spoke about Ukraine, the Western Balkans and trade, he said, without elaborating. Sanders said they sought “renewed efforts to solve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.”
The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Moscow, says it aims to recapture the rebel-held enclave of Idlib in northern Syria, a refuge for civilians and rebels displaced from other areas of Syria, as well as jihadist forces.