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18:35, 07 September 2018

Syria war: Russia rejects Turkey&#039s calls for Idlib truce

Syria war: Russia rejects Turkey&#039s calls for Idlib truce

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected Turkey’s calls for a truce to avoid a “bloodbath” in Syria’s Idlib.

At a trilateral meeting with Iran and Turkey, Mr Putin mentioned that Russia would continue its fight against “terrorists” in the northern province.

Idlib is the Syrian opposition’s last major stronghold, with practically three million residents.

There are fears that a key Syrian government offensive, backed by Russia and Iran, is about to take place there.

During the meeting in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also spoke of “fighting terrorism” in the province but mentioned civilians have to not be made to suffer.

New air strikes on rebel positions in Idlib had been reported on Friday morning.

Earlier, the new US envoy for Syria stated there was “proof” that Syrian government forces were preparing to use chemical weapons.

Why are these nations involved?

Iran, Russia and Turkey have played central roles in the Syrian conflict.

Turkey – which has lengthy backed some rebel groups – fears an all-out assault will trigger another major refugee crisis on its southern border.

Russia and Iran – which have offered important help for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – believe jihadist groups in Idlib should be wiped out.

Russian planes have bombed rebel places in the north-western area as Syrian government troops mass for the anticipated offensive.

What was stated at the summit?

“Fighting terrorism in Idlib is an unavoidable component of the mission of restoring peace and stability to Syria,” Mr Rouhani told his Russian and Turkish counterparts.

“But this battle have to not result in civilians to suffer or lead to a scorched earth policy.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted at the trilateral meeting “the genuine Syrian government has a appropriate and must ultimately take beneath handle of its entire national territory”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the summit that this was the final opportunity to avert a bloodbath in the province, home to some 3 million people.

Their joint statement, nevertheless, contained no concrete measures on Idlib.

What did the new US envoy for Syria say?

Jim Jeffrey mentioned the anticipated conflict would be a “reckless escalation”.

“I am really sure that we have very, extremely very good grounds to be making these warnings,” Mr Jeffrey stated in his 1st interview considering that getting appointed.

“Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation. There is lots of evidence that chemical weapons are getting ready.”

He did not give specifics of the proof he was referring to.

Mr Jeffrey stated a “main diplomatic initiative” was now needed to end the seven-year civil war.

  • How Idlib could be changing Trump’s Syria strategy

He stated there was “a new commitment” by President Donald Trump to remain involved in Syria till the Islamic State group (IS) was defeated and to guarantee that Iranian fighters leave the nation.

Mr Jeffrey said President Assad had “no future as a ruler” in Syria, but it was not Washington’s job to oust him. He mentioned the US would perform with Russia on a political transition.

What do we know of chemical weapons use?

The UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said final week that each the Syrian government and rebels had the potential to make chlorine-based chemical weapons.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied ever utilizing chemical weapons.

In spite of the denials, authorities from the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have stated they are confident government forces were behind an attack involving the nerve agent Sarin on a rebel-held town in southern Idlib in April 2017 that killed far more than 80 people.

The US state division warned on Monday that Washington would respond to any new chemical attacks by the Syrian government or its allies.

What is the state of Idlib?

There are believed to be up to 30,000 rebel and jihadist fighters in Idlib.

The UN says the region is house to some two.9 million men and women, including a million young children.

Far more than half of the civilians have currently been displaced at least once from elsewhere in Syria and have nowhere left to go.

UN officials say as several as 800,000 men and women could be displaced and that the already higher quantity of people in want of help could increase substantially.

Published at Fri, 07 Sep 2018 16:36:23 +0000

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