Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Russian air strikes batter Syria's Idlib: monitor

Blasts at Damascus air base after possible missile strike Explosions have been repored at Syria's Mazzeh military airport YouTube
Glenn Montgomery | 04 September, 2018, 20:13

President Donald Trump warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies against "recklessly" attacking Idlib, one of the last remaining holdouts for rebels in the country's civil war.

The sources said the warplanes hit civilian residential areas in Jisr al-Shughur City; areas of Basanqul, Ghani, Innab, Sirmaniyah, west of Idlib; Zayzun area, north of Hama; as well as the opposition's frontlines.

The Assad regime has been preparing for a full-scale military operation, amassing its forces around the last opposition bastion in Idlib near the Turkish border.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, wrote on Twitter late on Monday: "All eyes on the actions of Assad, Russia, and Iran in Idlib".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated Russia's position, calling Idlib a "hornets" nest of terrorists'.

A war monitor says Russian Federation resumed air strikes on the opposition and rebel-held Syrian province on Tuesday.

"Terrorists must be purged" from Idlib and Syrian government control of the province restored, Zarif said in Damascus, according to Iranian media.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned against Assad regime's possible attacks in Idlib urging Iran and Russian Federation not to make "a grave humanitarian mistake" by taking part in the attacks.

In the statement from the Syrian President's office, Assad and Zarif said that resorting to "threats and pressure reflect the failure of those countries to realize their plans for the region after Syria and Iran confronted them".

But Turkey, whose army has a string of observation posts around the edge of the rebel area, has warned against such an offensive.

Earlier, Trump tweeted that in his opinion an attack on Idlib might result in hundreds of thousands of fatalities and it would be a major humanitarian mistake.

Since early 2017, Iran, fellow regime ally Russian Federation and rebel backer Turkey have sponsored the negotiations track based in the Kazakh capital to tamp down hostilities in Syria. "Don't let that happen!"

They are also home to some 3 million civilians.

Towns and villages in the northern Idlib province, where Syria's rebels are holed up, came under intense airstrikes throughout Tuesday, killing at least eight people, according to a search and rescue group and a conflict monitoring group.

The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, said an all-out assault on Idlib and its catastrophic consequences could still be avoided.

But analysts still say the United States appears resigned to the likelihood of a final military victory by Syrian regime forces.

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