Russian Federation claims Syria rebels ‘staging chemical attack’

15 September, 2018, 15:57 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Medical facility in Hass is damaged in an airstrike

UK's United Nations ambassador Karen Pierce said her country "strongly" agreed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's op-ed on Idlib published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

The intensive strikes resumed on Sunday, according to residents and rescuers, as Damascus stepped up its assault on the area after a Russian-Iranian-Turkish summit failed to agree on a ceasefire.

Airstrikes and bombings would trigger a "massive wave of refugees and tremendous security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond", he warned.

Turkey on Tuesday appealed for global backing for a ceasefire in Idlib, telling the UN Security Council that an all-out assault on Syria's rebel-held province will trigger a massive wave of refugees and could threaten Europe.

At a meeting in Tehran on Friday with the presidents of Russian Federation and Iran, seen as the last realistic chance to avert all-out conflict in the insurgent-held region, Erdogan failed to win a pledge of ceasefire from Assad's two main backers.

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Erdogan has called for a cease-fire in the northwestern province of Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in Syria, as an assault by Syrian regime forces is expected any day.

Tahrir al-Sham is the number one terrorist group of the Idlib operation on Turkey's border, according to Russian Federation and Syria.

FILE PHOTO: Turkey's Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar is seen during the EFES-2018 Military Exercise near the Aegean port city of Izmir, Turkey May 10, 2018.

"Fighting terrorism does not absolve warring parties of their core obligations under worldwide law", said Guterres, who directly appealed to Iran, Russia and Turkey to spare no effort to protect civilians, "preserve basic services such as hospitals, ensure full respect for global humanitarian law".

Earlier, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was reported as saying air and ground attacks on Idlib must stop immediately and a ceasefire must be established in the area.

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Since 2015, Idlib has been home to a complex array of anti-regime forces: secular rebels, Islamists, Syrian jihadists with ties to Al-Qaeda - and their foreign counterparts.

"The United States followed through when we said that we would respond to the use of chemical weapons".

"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.

The regime has twice been targeted by U.S. air and missile strikes after previous alleged chemical attacks. "Conventional weapons are responsible for far more deaths", he said.

"There needs to be ways of dealing with this problem that don't turn the next few months in Idlib into the worst humanitarian catastrophe with the biggest loss of life in the 21st century", Mark Lowcock told reporters in Geneva.

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    Turkey wants to maintain cease-fire in Idlib

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    But Russian and Syrian regime air raids on Idlib have intensified in recent days, with a hospital among the targets. Pro-government forces control a southeastern chunk.


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