Russia Confirms Air Strikes on Syria's Idlib

Syrian government forces attack rebel-held city

Syrian government forces attack rebel-held city

Air strikes hit parts of the Idlib region in northwest Syria, the country's last major insurgent stronghold, a war monitoring group and a rescue service said on Thursday.

The meeting in Tehran marks the third time the presidents of Turkey, Russia, and Iran have met over Syria in less than a year.

Turkey's president has said that his country does not want a bloodbath in Idlib province and a ceasefire would be an important step amid looming Russian-backed Syrian offensive in the last rebel-held area. United Nations officials warned this week of a humanitarian catastrophe if a military offensive in Idlib moves forward.

On Friday morning, Russian air raids targeted rebel positions in the southwest of the province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Tehran and Moscow have helped Assad turn the course of the war against an array of opponents ranging from Western-backed rebels to Islamist militants, while Turkey is a leading opposition supporter and has troops in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Erdogan and Putin along with their Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani will hold a series of bilateral meetings before going behind closed doors for the trilateral talks.

"Turkey's aim in Idlib has been to avoid a new, destabilizing conflict on its border".

In regaining control over other parts of Syria in the previous year, Russian-brokered surrender deals offered safe passage for tens of thousands of rebels and their families to Idlib, which is why the province became the last bastion of the armed resistance. Idlib and its surroundings are now the only significant area where armed opposition to Damascus remains. He said that "any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation" of the war. "But I can't speak for them, and even more so can't talk for terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra or ISIS that they will stop shooting or stop using drones with bombs".

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Maas said Germany was also concerned about massive bloodshed and "looming humanitarian catastrophe" inside Idlib.

He called on all militants in Syria to disarm and seek a peaceful end to the conflict. "Assad's brutal regime - backed by Russian Federation and Iran - can not continue to attack and terrorize Syria's citizens".

Erdogan also said Turkey no longer had the capacity to take in any more refugees from Syria should the government offensive in Idlib go ahead.

About 3 million people are in the province.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday at the meeting that an attack on Idlib would result in a disaster and massacre, and that millions of people would be moving towards the Turkish border in the case that an attack took place. Let's go in. Let's kill the f-king lot of them", Trump said, according to the tell-all, "Fear: "Trump in the White House", a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. "Turkey has filled its capacity to host refugees". "Iran and Russian Federation are the fighting forces in Syria and have brought blood and tears".

Meanwhile, the fate of Idlib hung in the balance.

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