Refugee calamity feared as battle for Syria's Idlib looms large

07 September, 2018, 16:26 | Author: Donnie King
  • Syrian government forces attack rebel-held city

Rouhani also said that the intervention of the United States should end, and that any interference without the cooperation with Assad government will "cause this crisis to become deeper".

Erdogan will also hold bilateral talks with Putin and Rouhani.

But regime backers Russian Federation and Iran have sworn to wipe out "terrorists", and Assad has declared his determination to retake control of the entire country.

Erdogan as well as the presidents of Iran and Russian Federation will meet on Friday in Tehran for a summit expected to focus on Idlib.

"The leaders will in particular focus on the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, where terrorist remnants are concentrated", he said, in particular referring to HTS.

She warned on Tuesday against the use of any chemical weapons in Idlib, after the White House pledged to "respond swiftly and appropriately" to any such attack.

"I am very sure that we have very, very good grounds to be making these warnings", said Jim Jeffrey, who was named on August 17 as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's special adviser on Syria overseeing talks on a political transition in that country.




There is "lots of evidence" that chemical weapons are being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib in northwest Syria, the new USA adviser for Syria said on Thursday, warning of the risks of an offensive on the country's last big rebel enclave. "Iran and Russian Federation are the fighting forces in Syria and have brought blood and tears". "Joint work can be done to eliminate these groups, but the solution is definitely not to bomb Idlib in its entirety".

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday urged Damascus against launching a battle to retake Idlib, the last major chunk of Syria still in opposition hands.

Trump shifted his public tone on Syria within a matter of weeks, as the US and its allies launched missile strikes against Syria in April over a chemical attack against civilians in the city of Duoma.

"The consequences of that are that we will shift our positions and use all of our tools to make it clear that we'll have to find ways to achieve our goals that are less reliant on the goodwill of the Russians", Jeffrey said.

Idlib is one of the so-called "de-escalation" zones set up as a result of talks by Russia, Turkey and Iran a year ago as Damascus regained control of more of the country.

President Trump "has warned that such an attack would be a reckless escalation of an already tragic conflict and would risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of people", the administration said.

A major assault would be devastating for the almost three million people living in the northwestern province, many of them rebels and civilians who were moved out of other areas as they came back under regime control. "The Turks have shown a great deal of resistance to an attack", he said. Ankara, which has the most to lose should an offensive take place, has been trying to negotiate with opposition armed groups, including al-Qaeda-linked Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham.

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