Kremlin says Syria army getting ready to 'solve' Idlib 'terrorism' problem

Kremlin says Syria army getting ready to 'solve' Idlib 'terrorism' problem

Located near the Turkish border, Idlib is home to more than 3 million Syrians, many of whom fled from other cities following attacks by regime forces.

The UN and aid groups have warned that a full assault on Idlib could spark a humanitarian catastrophe on a scale not yet seen in Syria's seven-year-old conflict.

Rebel-backer Turkey has held several rounds of talks with regime ally Russian Federation aimed at averting an assault on Idlib, but Moscow dubbed the region a "pocket of terrorism".

Speaking in a meeting with visiting US Republican Senator Richard Hayden Black in Damascus on Wednesday, Assad said that Washington has long resorted to threats, punitive measures as well as state terrorism, stressing that it will be of great benefit to American statesmen and nation if Washington opts to secure peace than to foment strife and destabilize world countries.

The air raids "came a day after rebel units in Idlib hit regime positions in neighbouring Latakia province".

Idlib is one of the "de-escalation" zones set up as a result of talks by Russia, Turkey and Iran past year as Damascus regained control of more of the country. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said they had killed 13 civilians, including children, but no fighters.

"The United States is closely monitoring the situation in Idlib province, Syria, where millions of innocent civilians are under threat of an imminent Assad regime attack, backed by Russian Federation and Iran", the White House said in a statement. He also could not comment on reports that Russian warplanes had carried out air strikes on Idlib earlier Tuesday.


"We know that the Syrian armed forces are getting ready to solve this problem", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, calling Idlib a "pocket of terrorism".

"Our cooperation with Russian Federation now is very important", he said.

The future of Idlib is likely to be determined at a summit on Friday, when the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey will gather in Tehran to discuss the future of Syria.

Trump has warned that an attack "would be a reckless escalation of an already tragic conflict", the White House said, risking the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

"If they want to continue to go the route of taking over Syria, they can do that, but they cannot do it with chemical weapons", she said.

In April, Western countries accused Syria of being behind an alleged chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma.

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