The United States, Britain and France have warned that they will respond "appropriately" to any chemical weapons attack in Idlib, a warning repeated at the Security Council on Tuesday by the three countries.
Russia, for its part, said Syrian rebels are preparing a chemical attack, which Moscow said the West would use to justify a strike against the Syrian forces.
Guterres called on the guarantors of the Astana process, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, to step up efforts to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Idlib, the last remaining de-escalation zone, one of the four that the process helped to create.
Complementary to the Geneva talks, the Astana process kicked off in early 2017 with a meeting providing for indirect talks between the Syrian government and rebel factions in the neutral Kazakh capital. In tandem with the Geneva talks, the process aims to achieve a peaceful and stable solution to the conflict in Syria.
Concluding his statement, Guterres urged all parties to take all necessary measures to safeguard civilian lives, allow freedom of movement, and protect civilian infrastructure, including medical and educational facilities, in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights law.
Reports have said the Syrian government is gearing up for an offensive in Idlib province, which is home to nearly 3 million people and has a large al-Qaida presence in addition to Syrian rebel groups.
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