Here's What the New US Strategy in Syria Means For Russia

Here's What the New US Strategy in Syria Means For Russia

"Turkey has a plan, Madam President, in Idlib and it does involve reaching an agreement with the Syrian opposition whereby the regime refrains from attacking them while they combat terrorism", she said referring to Nikki Haley, the U.S.'s United Nations envoy and council president.

More than 3 million people live in the rebel-held territory, almost half of them already displaced from fighting elsewhere in Syria.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday appealed to Russia, Iran and Turkey to "spare no effort to find solutions that protect civilians" in Syria's Idlib and said it was "absolutely essential" a full-scale battle was avoided.

Turkey's Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu made the appeal after telling the U.N. Security Council that President Bashar Assad's regime seeks to legitimize its military operation in Idlib on the grounds that it's fighting terrorism.

A further complicating factor for Turkish aid agencies is that many civilians themselves are now carrying arms for protection, making it harder to distinguish them from fighters.

In Idlib, civilians and fighters have been scrambling to prepare for the looming offensive.

Russian Federation has said it wants all militants to be pushed out of Idlib and that it avoids civilians and targets only radical al Qaeda-inspired groups.

"Since September 4, an uptick in violence has killed scores of civilians and displaced more than 30,000 people, Laerke said".

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He acknowledged that there were many rebels and fighters from "terrorist" groups in the province, but stressed that "there are 100 civilians, a lot of them women and children, for every fighter in Idlib".

While officials in Washington, along with counterparts from European allies, are preemptively positioning to use chemical weapons attacks as a pretense for possible airstrikes, Russian Federation has pointed the finger at the USA for breaking global law with the use of white phosphorus bombs.

Government forces, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, have been massing troops for weeks in preparation for an attack on Idlib province that is the last major rebel stronghold in the country.

"A tragedy that will occur in a possible [military] operation in Idlib is not only Turkey's problem but Europe's as well", Yildirim said.

But Russia and Iran have rejected Turkey's call for a ceasefire.

Witnesses said hundreds of families had begun fleeing from villages and towns in southern Idlib that have been the target of heavy strikes closer to camps near the Turkish border.

"When we speak to Syrians who have already been displaced three, five, even six times, they themselves say there is nowhere to go".

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.

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