Turkey proposing to evacuate Syrian rebels from Idlib, says report
Turkey proposing to evacuate Syrian rebels from Idlib, says report
Syrian government forces attack rebel-held city
07 September, 2018, 16:29
The summit between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may determine whether diplomacy halts any military action.
They were meeting to discuss the situation in Idlib amid concerns that an expected government offensive in the northwestern province would cause severe bloodshed, major civilian casualties, and a humanitarian catastrophe. "Assad's brutal regime - backed by Russian Federation and Iran - can not continue to attack and terrorize Syria's citizens". Presidents Erdogan, Putin and Rouhani are now in Tehran ahead of the talks.
"Turkey's aim in Idlib has been to avoid a new, destabilizing conflict on its border".
An estimated 10,000 Al-Qaeda-linked fighters are among those rebels, and Idlib is also home to about 3 million civilians - almost half of them displaced from other parts of Syria. Those included a workshop used by the militants for construction of drones, a warehouse of explosives as well as a storehouse, where they kept their MANPADs.
Turkey has limited sway over the jihadists who control an estimated 60 percent of the province, but it backs other rebel groups and has 12 military "observation points" across the area.
"We have killed, we are killing and we will kill terrorists. whether that be in Aleppo, Idlib or other parts of Syria".
Hossein Jaberi Ansari, a senior aide in the Foreign Ministry, said the presidents would seek a compromise and that "Turkey and Iran are sufficiently mature politically to facilitate such a compromise".
"There are no civilians left at all in the targeted villages", Hasan Younis, a member of the White Helmets emergency medical team based in southern Idlib province, said to ABC News.
Tuesday's bombardment hit several areas held by the jihadist-led Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance, among them the town of Jisr al-Shughur, but also areas held by rival Turkish-backed rebels, according to Agence France-Presse.
Assad's government has been massing thousands of troops in preparation for an assault.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has almost quashed a seven-year-long uprising and has retaken much of the territory his forces lost to the rebellion.
"Whatever reason there is an attack that has been made or will be made will result in disaster, massacre and humanitarian drama", he said.
Earlier this week U.S. Ambassador Haley warned the Syrian regime, which has been accused repeatedly of using chemical weapons against its own people during the civil war, specifically against doing so again in Idlib.
There is "lots of evidence" that chemical weapons are being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib in northwest Syria, the new US adviser for Syria said on Thursday, warning of the risks of an offensive on the country's last big rebel enclave. Jefrey said the goal is to produce a political solution in Syria that stops the fighting and prevents conditions for a return of ISIS or another extremist group.
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