Russia Pounds Rebel Positions in Syria’s Idlib

Russia Pounds Rebel Positions in Syria’s Idlib

On Sunday, government forces bombed the village of Hobeit in Idlib province, killing an infant girl and wounding several other civilians, the Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group 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 of the 21st Century", he said.

He said the strikes targeted positions of both rebel groups and the rival Hayat Tahrir Al Sham alliance, led by Al Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate and comprised mostly of hardline Islamist groups.

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.

It was the second day of bombardment on the jihadist and rebel-held province and adjacent areas, after key powerbrokers in Tehran failed to reach a deal to avert a government assault.

Trump himself warned early last week that an attack by Assad on Idlib would make the U.S.

"As the Russian strikes have intensified over the past 10 days, there's been a major displacement from southern Idlib and northern Hama (province) toward the Syrian-Turkish border".

The administration is "trying to send a clear warning" to the Assad regime, said Melissa Dalton, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. About 2,000 USA troops are now operating in Syria, a lot of them in the eastern region of the country.

The area is Syria's last major stronghold of active opposition to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

State-run Al-Ikhbariya TV said the government was retaliating against overnight shelling from rebel-held areas on a government-held town in Hama province, south of Idlib.

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that a Syrian government offensive in the country's northern region of Idlib would cause humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, Europe and beyond.

The conflict's three powerbrokers - regime allies Russian Federation and Iran and rebel backer Turkey - agreed at a summit last week to "stabilize" Idlib, but few details emerged on how they would do it.

Roughly half of Idlib's population are people who have already been displaced from other parts of the country or the province.

The Russian defence ministry, citing Idlib residents, said film crews from several Middle Eastern TV channels as well as "a regional branch of a leading United States news channel" had arrived for the shoot in the city of Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib.

"Getting smuggled across is nearly impossible, and there have been several cases of displaced people being shot dead while trying to enter Turkey illegally", Rifai said.

"We go wherever it's safe", said the man in his 30s.

And perhaps more alarming is that the report details that Trump is undecided over whether new retaliatory strikes could entail expanding the attack to hit Assad allies Russian Federation and Iran this time around.

"If Assad, Russia and Iran continue down the path they are on, the consequences will be dire", she said.

Syria's conflict has killed more than 350,000 people and forced millions more out of their homes, but the United Nations has warned a full-blown attack on Idlib could bring unprecedented suffering.

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