Belgium, Germany and Kuwait, three non-permanent council members, requested the closed-door meeting on Wednesday after Russia and the Syrian regime stepped up their bombardments of the rebel-held region.

Members of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) clear rubble to open a road following reported shelling on the village of Ibdita in Idlib Province, Syria on May 8, 2019.
Members of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) clear rubble to open a road following reported shelling on the village of Ibdita in Idlib Province, Syria on May 8, 2019. (Omar Haj Kadour / AFP)

The UN Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss the escalation of fighting in Syria's northwestern region of Idlib, where hospitals and schools have been hit by strikes, diplomats said.

Belgium, Germany and Kuwait, three non-permanent council members, requested the closed-door meeting on Wednesday after Russia and the Syrian regime stepped up their bombardments of the rebel-held region.

The three countries are leading the council's efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria, now in its ninth year of war.

About three million people live in Idlib, the last major bastion to remain outside the control of the Syrian regime.

Since April 29, 12 health facilities, including two major hospitals, have been hit in northwest Syria, according to the World Health Organisation.

At least 80 people have been killed and more than 150,000 displaced from southern Idlib in the latest flare-up, according to the UN. 

With more than a dozen of the UN's partner agencies cancelling humanitarian operations in the area, people have started their own relief efforts. 

TRT World's Obaida Hitto reports from Jinderis, Syria.

Council members will hear a briefing from UN humanitarian officials on the surge in violence.

The meeting is scheduled for 1400 GMT on Friday.

Western powers are concerned that the Russia-backed Syrian regime will launch a full-scale assault despite a deal reached with Turkey to set up a de-escalation zone in Idlib.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged warring sides to protect civilians and to re-commit to a ceasefire agreed in September 2018.

On Monday, the violence killed 43 fighters and five civilians, according to the Britain-based war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Source: AFP