Turkish President Warns Of Humanitarian Disaster In Idlib

14 September, 2018, 08:21 | Author: Myra Gill
  • John Bolton Threatens Syria Over Chemical Weapon Use

Burt said the United Kingdom officials have held contacts with Turkish counterparts on the continued efforts, adding that "it is deeply disappointing that Russian Federation and Iran rejected President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan's calls for a renewed cease-fire" at the Tehran Summit last Friday.

"The world will hold them responsible", she told the Security Council. "Our position is rooted in the fact that the situation around Syria's Idlib governorate, where key forces of terrorists are now concentrated, is in focus of attention", the spokesman said. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

The comments came four days after the Turkish president met his Russian and Iranian counterparts for a summit in Tehran, where Erdogan sought to avert a bloody assault in Idlib.

On Tuesday US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Assad has been well warned against any chemical weapons use in an anticipated assault on Idlib province.

Idlib's main towns and cities are under the sway of jihadists linked to al Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, though they are outnumbered by Turkey-backed FSA fighters grouped under "The National Front for Liberation". "He's been warned, and so we'll see if he's wised up".

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the Trump administration hasn't seen "any actions to indicate that Russia, Iran and Assad are interested in a political solution".


The UN has estimated 800,000 people could be displaced by an attack. Previously, an alleged chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma, 10km north of the capital, Damascus, was used as pretext for American, British, and French airstrikes against Syrian government targets in April, while an attack in the northern city of Khan Shaykhun in 2017 was also blamed on Assad, and triggered a USA missile attack in response.

The NLF, which maintains a presence in Idlib and Hama provinces and can field some 70,000 fighters, constitutes the primary force fighting the Assad regime.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday's airstrikes on Idlib and Hama provinces forced some people to flee their homes.

Russia's recent threats over the Al-Tanf garrison, an area in eastern Syria where the United States maintains a small number of troops alongside rebel forces, are one indicator of the deteriorating relationship between the two major powers. They are believed to be holding them in the Safaa area.

"We're deeply concerned about this recent escalation of violence, which has resulted in the displacement of over 30,000 in the area. That's something we're monitoring very closely", OCHA spokesman David Swanson told reporters. The UN has described it as a "dumping ground" for people evacuated and displaced from elsewhere in Syria during the seven-year war. According to USA officials, the Russians have twice threatened to conduct military operations in the area over the last 10 days, prompting the US military to warn against any such move and deploy Marine reinforcements to the area.

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