Diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey meet United Nations envoy on Syria

Diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey meet United Nations envoy on Syria

As Russia continues to bombard the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib from the skies, in support of the country's ruling government's campaign to retake territory, Washington is warning of retaliatory strikes.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, there is "no doubt" that Islamic militants with ties to Western intelligence agencies that are hostile to Assad's regime are planning a false-flag chemical weapons attack in Idlib province, the scene of fierce fighting between forces loyal to the Syrian regime and terrorist groups opposed to it.

He said that the United Nations had plans to reach up to 800,000 people who might be displaced, and were bracing for around 100,000 people to move into government-held areas and some 700,000 to initially flee within Idlib.

Damascus, backed by allies Russian Federation and Iran, has been preparing a major assault to recover Idlib and adjacent areas of northwest Syria from rebels.

Although Erdogan has been a staunch supporter to the regime's opposition forces in an effort to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he has also been involved in talks with Iran and Russian Federation to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria which is entering its eighth year.

A major battle would trigger a "massive wave of refugees and tremendous security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond", Turkish ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu told the Security Council on Tuesday.

The latest escalation comes as residents of Idlib and many players in the global community, including President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, express new concerns about a Syrian attack on Idlib.

De Mistura will meet on Monday and Tuesday with the guarantor countries of Astana process - Turkey, Russia, and Iran.


A Syrian regime offensive on the opposition province of Idlib could lead to the 21st century's worst loss of life.

Britain and France backed the call for a ceasefire, recalling that these had been agreed under arrangements for a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib that were overseen by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

"From there, they raided weapons stocks and ever since have been among the most potent factions in the north, so they're not a joke", says Heller. "The consequences of inaction are huge", Erdogan said.

"I think ideally we'd like to stop the regime assault and win some time to move HTS out of idlib", said one Turkish official, speaking anonymously to discuss a sensitive matter.

"We would like to warn the USA and its allies against new unsafe steps", Zakharova added.

"We've tried to convey the message in recent days that if there's a third use of chemical weapons, the response will be much stronger", Bolton said on Monday. "The world will hold them responsible", she told the Security Council.

"President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province".

But half the people here have already fled from other parts of Syria and they have nowhere left to go.

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