Intense air raids reported on edge of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Intense air raids reported on edge of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

The United Nations worries the offensive could force 2.5 million people toward the Turkish border.

A Syrian woman sits on a straw mat next to children 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.

"I am very sure that we have very, very good grounds to be making these warnings", Jeffrey said.

"Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation" he said.

Western countries have promised they will strike Assad's forces if chemical weapons are used.

The dilemma facing the rebels and Sunni jihadist militants is that there are few places left to flee to should the Assad regime attack.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has massed his army and allied forces on the frontlines in the northwest, and Russian planes have joined his bombardment of rebels there, in a prelude to a possible assault.

Iran and Russian Federation on Friday backed a military campaign to retake the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria as Turkey pleaded for a cease-fire, narrowing the chances of a diplomatic solution to avoid what many say would be a bloody humanitarian disaster. "We must find a reasonable way-out for Idlib".

United States sanctions allies of Syria's Assad amid fears over Idlib attack
Trump will chair a UN Security Council meeting on Iran during an annual gathering of world leaders in NY later this month. De Mistura said there were about 10,000 fighters with UN-recognized terrorist organizations now in Idlib.

Syrian forces have been massing around Idlib, backed by Russian air power and naval might.

Putin icily retorted, "The armed militants are not present at our table, are not taking part in our talks". Jeffrey said there will be a "major diplomatic initiative" to stabilize conditions in Syria in the coming weeks, but he would not describe the military mission, other than to say that they must ensure an "enduring defeat" of ISIS. "The Turks have shown a great deal of resistance to an attack", he said. "It is necessary for the fight to continue until all terrorist groups in Syria especially in Idlib are eradicated", he said.

"I'm just an individual who is deeply concerned about achieving peace and stopping the slaughter in the Middle East", Black said. "We know that they do not care about civilians and legitimate, moderate opposition forces".

Aid organisations have warned that any military campaign to retake the region of almost three million people on the Turkish border could spark one of the worst humanitarian disasters in Syria's seven-year war.

"The new policy is we're no longer pulling out by the end of the year", James Jeffrey, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's representative for Syria engagement, told the Washington Post on Thursday.

Despite his having expressed his desire to get USA troops out of Syria only months ago, a report published Friday in The Washington Post claims that President Donald Trump is allegedly "on board" with a new "indefinite military and diplomatic effort in Syria".

Trump will chair a U.N. Security Council meeting on Iran during an annual gathering of world leaders in NY later this month. The Russian president holds the key to the forthcoming operation - the most significant in a series of Russian and Iranian-led victories across the country. The meeting, arranged by eight European countries, including both permanent and non-permanent members of the UN Security Council (Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden), also involved members of the Syrian Negotiations Commission.

"The legitimate Syrian government has a right and must eventually take under control of its entire national territory", Putin declared.

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