Trump warns Syria not to 'recklessly attack' Idlib province

Explosions at a Syrian military airport close to Damascus

Explosions at a Syrian military airport close to Damascus

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Damascus monitor based in the United Kingdom, reported that Russian warplanes had purportedly resumed air raids against terrorists' positions in Idlib earlier in the day after a hiatus of several weeks.

The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey are set to hold a meeting in Tehran on Friday to discuss the situation in Idlib.

Idlib is the last major bastion of the rebel groups who have been trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011.

Seized from government forces in 2015, Idlib and adjacent areas form the last major chunk of territory still in rebel hands.

"Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed". A statement from Assad's office said Iran and Syria "had similar views on the different issues" to be discussed.

Turkey, which has long supported anti-Assad rebels, has cooperated with Russian Federation and Iran on talks over Syria in recent years and has troops in the Idlib region on an observation mission.

With some 3 million people now living in Idlib and the surrounding area, United Nations officials have warned that a government offensive could displace 800,000 people.

According to opposition media sources, the Russian raids targeted dozens of sites in the countryside of Idlib and Al-Ghab plain, were concentrated in the areas of "Jisr al-Shughur, Jabal al-Zawiya, Mrouj, Al-Shagar, Harsh, Sinjul and more".

Assad's government has long referred to any opposition fighters as "terrorists".

Located near the Turkish border, Idlib has been designated as a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly forbidden as part of the ongoing Astana process.

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

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

But Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday signaled strikes could be extended to Iraq if necessary.

Britain, France and the US, which together launched limited attacks on Syrian installations in mid-April in retaliation for an alleged Syrian chemical attack, say their red line against illegal weapon use remains in force.

Trump said in April that "it's time" to bring American troops home from Syria - once the militants of the Daesh group had been definitively defeated.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.