World News

Turkish President Warns Of Humanitarian Disaster In Idlib

Turkish President Warns Of Humanitarian Disaster In Idlib

In late August, de Mistura warned of a "perfect storm" facing Idlib amid the suspected strikes by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Russian-backed government forces to clear militants from the al-Qaida and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham - also known as the al-Nusra Front - militant groups from the area.

"The consequences of inaction are vast".

US national security adviser John Bolton has warned that the US, France and United Kingdom will launch a "much stronger" response to any chemical weapons attack in Syria, as the US bolsters its regional military presence in preparation.

"None of the military units in the area are even equipped with white phosphorous munitions of any kind", Pentagon spokesman Commander Sean Robertson said.

USA ambassador Nikki Haley accused the regime's main backers of escalating the violence in Idlib province and using terrorist tactics.

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Russian and Syrian warplanes have stepped up air strikes on southern Idlib and adjacent areas of Hama province in an apparent prelude to a ground offensive.

"I never talk about what would come next", Mattis said.

Lavrov noted that Moscow has submitted documentation for these allegations to both the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), RT.com recently reported.

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"The first time around (Assad) lost 17 percent of his pointy nosed air force airplanes. He's been warned and so we'll see if he's wised up", Mattis added.

The resulting impact on civilians has been dramatic, Laerke said, his concerns echoing those of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, who a day earlier had issued a warning about a military escalation in Idlib, after a recent meeting with Syria government officials in the country's capital.

"Idlib is the last so-called "de-escalation zone" in Syria". "It must not be transformed into a bloodbath".

"Since September 4, an uptick in violence has killed scores of civilians and displaced more than 30,000 people, Laerke said".

Unless Russia or the United States makes a significant miscalculation or causes a severe accident, it is unlikely that either will escalate their dispute in Syria to the point of active hostilities.

The U.S., Britain and France have pledged to respond to any use of chemical weapons in Idlib.

The Turkish leader also criticized Assad's bid to legitimize the fight in Idlib as a counter-terrorism operation.

The Assad regime has moved armed helicopters closer to Idlib in recent weeks, according to two defense officials.

Nebenzia, the Russian diplomat, also summed up last week's summit among Russia, Turkey and Iran as "a major milestone in restoring peace and ensuring lasting settlement in Syria".


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