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Syria's Idlib must not be transformed into a bloodbath — United Nations chief

Syria's Idlib must not be transformed into a bloodbath — United Nations chief

Turkey called for a ceasefire in Idlib as Syrian regime forces prepare for an offensive on the rebel-held enclave.

The preparations came as Russian jets and Syrian helicopters on Monday resumed intensive strikes in Idlib and Hama for a third day, with sources saying the Syrian army helicopters were dropping barrel bombs.

He further warned against attempts by certain states to stage a false-flag chemical attack in Syria and then accuse the government of President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons against its own people.

If chemical weapons are used, National Security Adviser John Bolton promised the US would deliver a counterattack that's even more severe than the two previous assaults authorized by Trump.

Kalin said Turkey expects all parties to make "constructive" contributions and agree on a political solution on Syria.

Kalın urged the United States to join hands in stopping possible attack on Idlib.

"The United States is long past taking Russian Federation and Iran at their word that they are interested in protecting civilians in Idlib from further violence", she said.

Meanwhile, an ambush by Daesh has killed 21 regime fighters in Syria's southern province of Sweida, a Britain-based war monitor said on Tuesday.

"This would unleash a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict".

While officials in Washington, along with counterparts from European allies, are preemptively positioning to use chemical weapons attacks as a pretense for possible airstrikes, Russian Federation has pointed the finger at the USA for breaking worldwide law with the use of white phosphorus bombs.

Turkey, which has sent troops to Idlib and supports some of the armed opposition, called for "an immediate ceasefire" and urged "the global community to vocally and actively support our efforts to this end".

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday also called on global allies to work together in Syria's Idlib with efforts to prevent civilian casualties. Let's stop this civil war in Idlib. "That's why it is necessary to eliminate them, as a phenomenon".

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"I also want to reiterate what I said last week to the Assad regime and anyone else contemplating the use of chemical weapons in Syria", Haley added.

TRT World's Oubai Shahbandar has more from Gaziantep, on Turkey's border with Syria. President Tayyip Erdogan has warned of a humanitarian disaster and security risks for Turkey.

U.S. officials have in recent days said additional action would follow if Assad were to use the banned weapons in rebel-held Idlib.

"We can not allow terrorists to hold hostage and use hundreds of thousands of people of Idlib as human shields", said the Russian ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia.

She said the Astana process, designed by Moscow to negotiate peace in Syria, was a failure.

CNN reported last week that United States officials have grown anxious that an assault on Idlib could involve the use of chemical weapons if the rebels are able to slow regime advances.

"Terrorists must not be allowed to hold hostages indefinitely and use hundreds of thousands of civilians in Idlib as a human shield", he said, adding that "it is impossible to exist side by side with terrorists."
It wasn't clear from the latest intelligence if Mr. Assad also had given the military permission to use sarin gas, the deadly nerve agent used several times in previous regime attacks on rebel-held areas.

"It is a disgusting tactic of terrorists, not professional soldiers", she said.

Although no decision has been made to strike Assad's forces, he noted that the president "expects us to have military options, and we have provided updates to him on the development of those military options".

On Monday, the head of the United Nations humanitarian agency, Mark Lowcock, warned that Idlib could see "the worst humanitarian catastrophe, with the biggest loss of life of the 21st century".

The Idlib area forms part of an arc of territory in the northwest representing the last big area held by the opposition.

Violence has displaced 30,000 people in Idlib and the adjacent province of Hama this month alone. "That's something we're monitoring very closely", OCHA spokesman David Swanson told AFP.


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