Turkey’s president says it is “only a matter of time” before it launches an operation to stop a Syrian army assault on opposition-held Idlib province.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned in a speech that he was determined to transform the border area into a safe place for Syria and Turkey’s people “at any cost”.
Syria’s government and its ally Russia have rejected his demand to pull back to ceasefire lines agreed in 2018.
The offensive has displaced some 900,000 civilians since 1 December.
Hundreds have been killed during that period, the vast majority of them victims of attacks by the Syrian government and its allies, according to the UN. Young children are also dying from the cold.
“Hostilities are now approaching densely populated areas. People are on the move in freezing temperatures in search of safety which has become ever more difficult,” UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told reporters on Monday.
“The secretary-general calls for an immediate ceasefire. International humanitarian law must be upheld. There is no military solution,” he added.