Erdogan to meet Putin on Syria conflict

Erdogan to meet Putin on Syria conflict

Some rebel groups seem to have been okay with the offer, but not the ultra-radical ones of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and like-minded groups.

Turkey's foreign minister says his country is still working for a peaceful solution for Syria's rebel-held province of Idlib, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would hold talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Monday.

The Nusra leaders have also stressed their intention to fight the government forces along with other ultra-radical groups in that province in northwestern Syria.

"One million children are trapped in Idlib facing what could be the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in the long and bloody history of Syria's seven-year war", said Syria Response Advocacy Manager Caroline Anning.

A full-scale air and ground offensive is likely to send waves of refugees surging toward the sealed Turkey border, coinciding with the onset of winter.

Commission Chair Paulo Pinheiro said the presence of 3 million civilians in the area is "something that has to move the powers involved in the decision".

Erdoğan met with the leaders of Iran and Russian Federation last week in Tehran to discuss Syria, but a concrete ceasefire pledge did not came from the meeting.

Ankara, which hosts some 3.5 million refugees, has said it could not take any more if an attack on Idlib drove a new surge of people towards its border.

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Russian Federation and Iran are key allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. It has reinforced 12 military observation posts in the region, and stepped up arms shipments to allied rebels.

The Turkish deployment comes amid a lull in a concerted government and Russian aerial bombing campaign on the southern edge of Idlib.

Others noted how neocons who cheered for the Global War Against Terrorism in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks were now painting Al-Qaeda militants in Idlib as besieged rebels.

At a meeting in Tehran on Friday with the presidents of Russian Federation and Iran, seen as the last realistic chance to avert all-out conflict in the insurgent-held region, Erdogan failed to win a pledge of ceasefire from Assad's two main backers.

The report also said that Syria this year witnessed levels of internal displacement not seen before in the seven-year conflict, warning that a large proportion of those displaced now languish in Idlib.

He also stressed that it's the responsibility of Turkey now to separate the terrorist groups from the moderate ones.

During the first 12 days of September, "available information indicates that a sharp increase in hostilities and fears of further escalation has led to the displacement of over 38,500 people", the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA) said.

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