Iranian forces arrive in Syria to fight in Idlib

07 September, 2018, 15:25 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Donald Trump and Bashar al-Assad

Earlier this week U.S. Ambassador Haley warned the Syrian regime, which has been accused repeatedly of using chemical weapons against its own people during the civil war, specifically against doing so again in Idlib.

Syrian government forces resumed shelling of rebels there.

The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey will meet Friday in Tehran to discuss the war in Syria, with all eyes on a possible military offensive to retake the last rebel-held bastion of Idlib.

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.

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Global calls for restraint grew Wednesday for Syria and its allies, Russian Federation and Iran, to avoid a bloodbath and humanitarian disaster in Syria's Idlib province.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that at least nine civilians, including five children from the same family, were killed in the Russian raids, while 10 more people were wounded. Turkey, which backed opposition forces against Syrian President Bashar Assad, fears a flood of refugees fleeing a military offensive and destabilizing areas it now holds in Syria.

"The Trump Administration and the worldwide community have made it clear that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict", Haley told the Council, which was to hold another meeting Friday on the crisis in Idlib. Trump and his top officials have called attention to the impending Syrian government offensive in recent days, warning the Syrian regime and its backers Russian Federation and Iran not to use chemical weapons or recklessly cause civilian deaths. Jeffrey said a United States response to a Russian assault would involve "all of our tools", but did not elaborate further.

Tuesday's bombardment hit several areas held by the jihadist-led Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance, among them the town of Jisr al-Shughur, but also areas held by rival Turkish-backed rebels, according to Agence France-Presse.

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The summit between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may determine whether diplomacy halts any military action.

Meeting Wednesday with the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, President Donald Trump called the situation in Idlib "very sad". "The Turks have shown a great deal of resistance to an attack", he said.

"Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation", envoy James Jeffrey told reporters.

Idlib is the last stronghold of terrorists in Syria, and Moscow has been recently voicing huge concerns that the United States is apparently attempting to keep them in the area.

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