Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Erdogan warns of Syrian bloodbath after Putin snubs truce

Erdogan warns of Syrian bloodbath after Putin snubs truce

Previously, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that al-Nusrah terrorists were preparing a provocation in Syria's western Idlib province in order to accuse Damascus of using chemical weapons against civilians, while the United Kingdom, the U.S., and France said in August that they "will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime". The widely anticipated offensive has drawn global concern.

Trump seems to have officially embraced regime change in Syria at the behest of his now-closest advisors, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"The dangers are profound that any battle for Idlib could be, would be, a horrific and bloody battle", Mistura said.

The UN envoy for Syria says any proposal to avoid Idlib becoming "the biggest humanitarian tragedy at the end of the most frightful recent conflict in our memory" must be given a chance.

Northwestern Idlib province and surrounding areas are home to about 3 million people almost half of them civilians displaced from other parts of Syria.

The humanitarian impact has been staggering.

"Millions of innocent people in Idlib province are now under the threat of imminent attack from the Assad regime, backed by Iran and Russian Federation, under the pretense of targeting ISIS", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement accompanying the new sanctions.

Al-Qaeda-linked rebels, known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, control more than half of Idlib, and much of the Russian and Syrian government rhetoric has focused on a need to defeat the group. Russian Federation and Iran, as countries with influence over the regime, must stop this catastrophe. "They are fleeing to areas near Turkey where they hope to be safe from further aerial bombardment". Maybe more. Where will these terrorists go?

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A critical summit between the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey to find common ground on Syria's rebel-held province of Idlib descended into televised drama today, as Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan aired their differences before the cameras.

A Syrian man walks past a stall in the rebel-held northern Syrian city of Idlib's central Clock Square on September 6, 2018.

"Russia's message is clear", argues Mr. Yetkın.

"To fight terrorism in Idlib is inevitable and part of a mission to bring about peace and stability to Syria", Rouhani said.

Meanwhile, the fate of Idlib hung in the balance.

"At one extreme, Turkey can choose to defend Idlib militarily, directly and/or through its proxies", says Faysal Itani, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

Idlib health chief Munzer Al-Khalil said there was "great fear" in the province that the Syrian regime would ramp up its bombing and attempt to re-capture the area.

"Any attack on Idlib will result in tragedy and the massacre of the civilians, . and 3.5 million people will be affected", he said. Russian Federation has described Idlib as a "nest of terrorists", while the United Nations has warned an assault on the area could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.

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The Tehran meetings could determine the scale and the timeline of the Idlib offensive, which the United Nations has warned may displace 800,000 people.

Iran, Russia and Turkey all separately face sanctions from the United States under the administration of President Donald Trump. At least 74 people died.

On Friday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his country could no longer afford to take in any more refugees from Syria.

"The scenarios for the filming of staged "incidents" with the alleged use of poisonous substances by Syrian government troops against civilians in the settlements of Jisr Al-Shugur, Serakab, Taftanaz, and Sarmin were finally agreed upon during the meeting".

Back in March, President Trump seemed to announce a new Syria policy without notifying anyone else in government.

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Even American airstrikes launched against the Assad government have had limited impact in the past.

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