Warplanes Strike Syria's Rebel-Held Idlib Region

Minnie Murray
September 7, 2018

When the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran meet in Tehran Friday, Sept. 7, all eyes will be on their diplomacy averting a bloodbath in Idlib, Syria's crowded northwestern province and last opposition stronghold.

Trump will chair a UN Security Council meeting on Iran during an annual gathering of world leaders in NY later this month.

Speaking Thursday at the United Nations Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the Assad regime "and its backers must stop their military campaign in all its forms to allow the U.N. -led political process to have a chance to succeed".

Erdogan called on Putin and Rouhani to agree to a ceasefire in Idlib, saying such an accord would be a "victory" of their summit.

A Syrian infant is seen in a baby walker outside a tent at a camp for displaced civilians fleeing from advancing government forces near the village of Sarman in the rebel-held northwestern Idlib province, September 1, 2018.

"They underlined that, in the fight against terrorism, separation between the above-mentioned terrorist groups and the armed opposition groups that had joined or would join the ceasefire regime, would be of utmost importance including with respect to preventing civilian casualties", it added.

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

He called on all militants in Syria to disarm and seek a peaceful end to the conflict.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that dropping bombs and missiles on Syria's last rebel-held province of Idlib could cause a "massacre", in remarks published Wednesday.

"We have killed, we are killing and we will kill terrorists.whether that be in Aleppo, Idlib or other parts of Syria". Asked whether that would include US air strikes, Jeffrey said: "That would be one way". Turkey has accepted 3.5 million refugees from Syria since the start of the war in 2011.

When a reporter asked Trump if he was not going to let an attack on Idlib happen, the president said only that he was watching very closely.

Any new flood of refugees toward Turkey would come at a time when Ankara is "vulnerable", he told AFP, adding it would be a "huge new burden on Turkey and would overwhelm its humanitarian capacities". "Turkey has filled its capacity to host refugees". That refers to the United States, which has some 2,000 troops in Syria after its war against the Islamic State group.

Widely abhorred internationality for the brutal conduct of the war, Assad has largely reclaimed most of Syrian territory though much of it is ravaged. Russia, which has provided air support to the Syrian Army since 2015, has made a big show of force by moving 10 warships and two submarines off the coast of Syria.

Meanwhile, the fate of Idlib hung in the balance.

Elsewhere in his address, Rouhani said joint efforts made by regional and world countries as well as the United Nations have contributed to almost ending war and bloodshed in Syria, stopping acts of terror in the country and preventing their long-term regional and global consequences.

"It will be waged irrespective of civilian casualties, even though they will make an effort to minimize it".

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