Syria's 'final major battle': Turkey calls for ceasefire in Idlib, Russia opposes

Syria's 'final major battle': Turkey calls for ceasefire in Idlib, Russia opposes

At the request of Damascus, Iran has been offering advisory military assistance to the Syrian army.

Rouhani also said the battle in Syria would continue until militants were pushed out of the whole country, especially in Idlib, but he added that any military operations should avoid hurting civilians.

While it's hard to be sure of the depth of Trump's engagement on Syria policy considering his quick reversals in recent months, he was part of an effort by US officials this week to warn the Syrian regime and its allies not to use chemical weapons or target civilians as they prepare for an assault on Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold.

They said a military strike on Idlib would lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe".

"People should be granted safe passage to places of their own choosing if they want to leave", Staffan de Mistura told a Security Council meeting on the crisis in Idlib.

Turkey, which backed opposition forces against Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, fears a flood of refugees fleeing a military offensive and destabilising areas it now holds in Syria. Eight aid agencies warned Friday that in the coming offensive "it will be the most vulnerable who will pay the heaviest price, with women, children, and the elderly in Idlib unlikely to be able to move to safety".

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (L) speaking on September 22, 2016 in New York; Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) during a press conference on May 15, 2018 in London; and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a televised phone-in on June 7, 2018 in Moscow.

The leaders each held bilateral talks before the meeting began in Tehran. Russian warplanes have already started striking the area. Russian Federation has suggested the rebels could use chemical weapons in a final battle for the rebel stronghold.




Trump shifted his public tone on Syria within a matter of weeks, as the US and its allies launched missile strikes against Syria in April over a chemical attack against civilians in the city of Duoma.

The Trump administration issued a series of new sanctions on the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ahead of what US officials believe is an "imminent attack" by the regime with help from Russian Federation and Iran, according to an announcement by the Treasury Department.

The United Nations is ringing alarm bells, predicting that an assault on Idlib would likely set in motion a refugee calamity on a scale not yet seen during the seven years of Syria's civil war.

Erdogan continued by saying that a rational solution in Idlib that will address everyone's concerns needs to found. It has also created zones of control in northern Syria and has several hundred troops deployed at 12 observation posts in Idlib.

Trump will chair a U.N. Security Council meeting on Iran during an annual gathering of world leaders in NY later this month.

"Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation", Jeffrey told a few reporters in his first interview on the situation in Syria since his appointment.

Seized from government forces in 2015, Idlib and surrounding areas form the last major swath of territory still in rebel hands. The Turks are trying to find a way out.

A spokesman for the National Front for Liberation, a Turkish-based rebel alliance, said the group's fighters were prepared for battle but are looking to Turkey for efforts to prevent the attack and "protect Idlib".

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