AN SNP MP has demanded the Prime Minister step in to take urgent action to help the escalating crisis in Syria.

Ian Blackford, leader of the SNP Westminster group, has written to Boris Johnson over the growing tensions in Idlib, and the need for the UK to step in.

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber called for "urgent funding" to be made available for humanitarian groups and said the current situation was "morally untenable".

Almost one million people have fled Idlib province, in north west Syria since December with the majority of them women and children.

Mr Blackford wrote: "I am writing to you regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria, which has claimed the lives of over 380,000 people since 2011; you will recall I raised this with you at Prime Minister's Questions.

"Since then it is clear that the scale of the humanitarian crisis has increased. We are currently witnessing the largest displacement of people to date in this conflict. Almost

900,000 people have fled Idlib province and western Aleppo since December, more than 80% of whom are women and children.

"Families are struggling and children are dying in the freezing conditions. Media and NGO reports from Idlib are shocking and must serve as an urgent call to action from world leaders."

The SNP politician also called on the Prime Minister to "make urgent efforts in securing a ceasefire", adding: "The human cost for the continuation of this unsustainable situation is morally untenable. While the

Security Council remains deadlocked, the Turkish President Erdogan has announced that he will take unilateral action to transform Idlib province on the Syrian-Turkish border into a safe zone “at any cost” after the Syrian and Russian governments rejected Turkish demands to pull back to ceasefire lines agreed in 2018. Military intervention, he has said, “is only a matter of time”.

"I call on you to make urgent efforts in securing a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid in to provide food, clean water and healthcare to those in need. Further, | call on you to release urgent funding for humanitarian groups working in the ground in the region."

When asked, Downing Street and the Foreign and Commonwealth office did not provide a comment on Mr Blackford's letter but referred The Herald to a statement made previously by the minister for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly.

On Monday, Mr Cleverly told Parliament that "we have repeatedly pressed—including at the UN Security Council—for an immediate, genuine and lasting ceasefire. "

He added: " There is overwhelming support for that in the Security Council, and we regret very much that the Russians continue to obstruct the possibility of agreement."