Calls mount to avert 'massacre' in Syria's Idlib

Cheryl Sanders
September 5, 2018

"The Russian aircraft carried out all strikes exclusively on the identified terrorist targets, as confirmed through several channels, located far from settlements", Konashenkov said.

Turkey and the USA said they were racing find a diplomatic solution to avoid "a serious massacre" in Syria's Idlib province ahead of a critical summit on Friday which is likely to decide the fate of the rebel stronghold.

Russian Federation first intervened in Syria in 2015, helping to turn the tide of the civil war in favor of President Bashar Assad's forces.

Global calls mounted on Wednesday (Sep 5) to avoid a "massacre" by regime forces in Syria's last rebel-held province of Idlib, two days before a summit between key powers backing the government and opposition.

His comments come as Syrian troops mass near the northwestern region of Idlib for a major assault that is raising fears of a humanitarian catastrophe on a scale not yet seen in the seven-year-old conflict. "The United States sends the ball into the corner of Russian Federation and Russia into the corner of the USA", he said.

Turkey hopes a summit with Iranian and Russian leaders in Tehran on Friday will avert a Syrian government offensive on the rebel-held Idlib enclave and prevent a new influx of refugees to Turkey, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying.

"Our cooperation with Russian Federation now is very important. God forbid, it is again Turkey where those people will flee in case of a disaster". The United Nations has said displaced people already make up about half of the 3 million people living in rebel-held areas of the northwest.

Turkey, Russia and Iran past year designated Idlib a so-called "de-escalation zone", but that deal did not cover former Al-Qaeda affiliate HTS.

Later on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke by phone to his US counterpart, Mike Pompeo, to discuss developments in Idlib and Manbij, as well as bilateral ties, a diplomatic source said, amid a widening row between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

The human rights group Amnesty International said in a statement on Wednesday that the lives of "millions of people in Idlib are now in the hands of Russia, Turkey and Iran", and urged all parties not to attack civilians.

In April 2017, the United States military attacked a Syrian government airfield near Homs with 59 Tomahawk missiles in response to a chemical weapons attack.

Other reports by iNewsToday