Pope Francis warns of 'humanitarian catastrophe' in Syria's Idlib

Pope Francis warns of 'humanitarian catastrophe' in Syria's Idlib

Pope Francis warns of 'humanitarian catastrophe' in Syria's Idlib

In Jordan and Turkey, Mr Jeffrey and Mr Rayburn will also focus on Syria and "reiterate the USA position that a military offensive in Idlib will escalate the crisis in Syria and the region, risk the lives of humanitarians and Syrian civilians, and destroy civilian infrastructure", the State Department said.

He said France will press at this month's U.N. General Assembly for a political solution in Syria, and is holding talks with Russia, Turkey and Iran to push them to use their influence with Assad to ensure political negotiations after the war ends.

Reminding Turkey's willingness to trade with its top trade partners like China and Russian Federation in local currencies instead of the USA dollar, Erdoğan said that Turkey was in the process of finalizing the move and added: "These last events have showed how right we are".

Syria's deputy prime minister, Walid Moallem, said in an interview with Russian television on Saturday that capturing Idlib was a priority, given the widespread presence of "terrorists" there, a reference to the Islamist fighting groups, including Syria's strongest rebel faction, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, which is affiliated with al-Qaida.

Last week, a source close to the regime said Damascus was preparing a phased offensive to recover Idlib province, but Turkey, whose army has a string of observation posts around the edge of the opposition and rebel area, has warned against such an assault.

Turkey, too, is expressing grave concern about an attack, anxious it will bear the brunt of the humanitarian and security fallout.

While Russia and Syria in the past have often have referred to all of their armed opponents as "terrorists", in the case of Idlib, they appear to be making a distinction in a bow to Turkey, which provides backing for numerous more moderate Sunni rebels in the province and which has joined Moscow and Tehran in sponsoring Syrian peace negotiations in the past year.

"Russia seeks to ensure not just the regime's military victory in Syria but its full political restoration through worldwide re-legitimation at war's end".

While Russia has denied that the manoeuvres are related to a possible Idlib battle, its officials have struck a martial tone about the need for action in the province.

He added: "The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib, will suffer from this aggression".

Those areas were handed over to regime forces in surrender deals, with many opposition fighters and civilians bussed to Idlib. "This would not be meant to substantially alter the Idlib battle, but rather to uphold the worldwide convention against the use of chemical arms".

"We are working toward stopping this attack", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Vienna Friday. It comes with an appendix noting that the group's former name was the Nusra Front.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian forces have deployed at least 2,000 armored vehicles along the front lines surrounding Idlib and Hama.An offensive is likely to first strike southwest Idlib and al-Ghab plains, which overlook the coastal area where Russian Federation has its military and naval bases. Although Americans and the West have never been able to prove their claims that Damascus has used weapons of mass destruction, the United Nations refused to hold them accountable.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend a three-way summit in Tehran on September, 7, with the leaders of Turkey and Iran, his spokesman said on Friday.

He said that even if Assad's forces retake Idlib, that won't solve the problems that unleashed the war seven years ago.

She said violence could force as many as 800,000 people to flee in one of the Syrian war's largest displacements yet.

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