Syria's War: Warplanes hit Idlib targets as fears of battle mount

Syria's War: Warplanes hit Idlib targets as fears of battle mount

As Syria has a strong alliance with Iran and Russian Federation, its relations with Turkey had dramatically worsened during the Syrian war as Turkey has been a major backer of the rebels in their insurgency against the rule of Assad.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned Syria in a tweet Monday evening not to "recklessly attack" attack Idlib.

The Russian air raids took place amid heavy ground shelling by the Syrian army, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Russia, another Syria ally, and Damascus have also said that western countries are preparing to carry out strikes against Syria ahead of the Idlib offensive.

The situation around Idlib will be one of the main items on the agenda when the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey meet in Tehran this week, Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

Several strikes against the Syrian government or allied forces have been in the past attributed to USA forces deployed as part of a multinational coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group. "Don't let that happen!"

Since Russia's entry into the war on his side in 2015, Assad and his other close allies, Iran and a group of regional Shi'ite militias it backs, have forced the rebels from a succession of bastions including Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta and Deraa.

The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey will hold talks on Syria in Tehran on Friday. Trump wrote on Twitter late on September 3. Syrian, Russian and Iranian forces have consistently battered Islamic State forces in the region, but also have battered the West-backed rebels who had hoped to drive Assad from power.

Mistura seeks a political solution through the United Nations.

Israel is believed to be behind a string of strikes targeting government and allied military installations in Syria, in order to disrupt weapons transfers between its archenemies Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

But Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday signaled strikes could be extended to Iraq if necessary.

Asked about Mr Trump's tweet, Mr Peskov said such warnings do not take into account "the risky and negative potential" of the rebel-held enclave and show that the White House does not have a "comprehensive approach" to solving the Syria crisis.

But for that to happen, "Turkey needs top cover from the United States if it is going to stare down Assad and force Russian Federation to take the Geneva process seriously".

Behind the scenes, American diplomats have been actively warning Moscow, which has been accused in the past of turning a blind eye to chemical weapon use by its Syrian proteges.

Trump said in April that "it's time" to bring American troops home from Syria - once the militants of the Daesh group had been definitively defeated.

More than seven years since the conflict began, regime forces have managed to retake entire regions from rebels and militants, and now control almost two-thirds of the country.

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