Russia Joins Iran in Support of Syrian Idlib Offensive
06 September, 2018, 05:48 | Author: Trevor Moore
FILE 2013: smoke rises after a TNT bomb was thrown from a helicopter, hitting a rebel position during heavy fighting between troops loyal to president Bashar Assad and opposition fighters, in a neighbouring village to Kafr Nabuda, in the Idlib province.
The BBC reported that Assad is planning a huge offensive.
Humanitarian organisations have warned of a potential catastrophe for the roughly 2.5 million civilians in the province should the attack go ahead.
Nearly two million people now in the area have already fled fighting in other parts of Syria.
Destroyed buildings in the rebel-hold town of Jadraya, about 35 kilometres southwest of the city of Idlib.
The Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed his comments, describing Idlib, where jihadist insurgent factions dominate, as a "nest of terrorism".
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that recent naval drills off Syria were justified, and that the "hotbed of terrorists" in Idlib must be tackled.
Three women and five children were killed and tens more injured in multiple bombardments in western Idlib, according to the White Helmets, volunteer first responders working in rebel-held areas.
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United States officials have grown anxious that an assault on Idlib could involve the use of chemical weapons if the rebels are able to slow regime advances.
Jeffrey and Rayburn would travel on to Jordan and Turkey, where they would reiterate the U.S. position against a military offensive in Idlib, the State Department said.
The delegation includes James Jeffrey, newly appointed Special Representative for Syria Engagement, and Joel Rayburn, Near Eastern Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary and special envoy for Syria. Shortly before Trump's tweet, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that Russia, Turkey, and Iran are working to separate armed opposition and terrorists in the area so that any potential military operation spares civilian lives.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that the Assad regime has every right to liquidate terrorists in Idlib. The United States chairs the UN Security Council in September.
Mr Pompeo retweeted the USA president's remarks about Idlib.
So far, a decision to take action has not been made, but one administration official with direct knowledge of the situation told CNN the military "could respond very quickly" if Syria launched a chemical weapons attack. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.
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