Syria summit in Iran may decide Idlib military offensive

Geneva Stokes
September 9, 2018

"Turkey has limited options but to concede to Russian Federation on Idlib given the diplomatic row with Washington and the recent U.S. decision to solidify Kurdish control of northern Syria", said Joe Macaron, a fellow at the Washington-based Arab Center.

In addition to opposition forces who have sworn to fight to the death, Idlib is also home to nearly 3 million civilians who will be caught up in the battle.

But the government and Russian raids targeted a wide swath of rebel-held area in the southern edge of the rebel-held enclave that includes most of Idlib province and northern Hama province.

In a series of tweets following a trilateral summit with the leaders of Russian Federation and Iran in Tehran, Erdogan said resorting to methods that would disregard civilian lives would "play into the hands of terrorists".

Russian Federation and Iran backed a military offensive to reclaim the last major rebel-held area of Syria, while Turkey called for a ceasefire to prevent mass casualties among the province's estimated 3.5 million population. But a regime attack on Idlib will likely move ahead despite Turkey's appeals for more time to use carrot-and-stick diplomacy with the jihadis.

Other demonstrators wrapped themselves in opposition flags and chanted slogans against what they called "international silence" over the massive buildup of Syrian army forces in the vicinity of Idlib.

Earlier this year, a senior adviser to Erdogan warned against any attack on Idlib, describing it as a "red line".

This was Black's second trip to visit Assad, whom the Trump and Obama administrations have blamed for chemical weapons attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians in rebel-held areas during Syria's civil war. He made it clear that the operations against anti-Assad forces in Idlib will continue until they all leave Syria.

Donald Trump Whips Up Base Blasting Nike Ad Featuring Colin Kaepernick
Nike's net favorability fell among all groups within the 8,000 people surveyed for the report . An arbitrator recently denied the NFL's request to dismiss Kaepernick's collusion complaint.

'Fear' grips Washington as Trump is portrayed as greatest danger to US
Of course, since this White House already has a staggering number of ex-employees, Woodward had a target-rich environment. Here are most notable quotes and stories from the latest tell-all to send shock waves through the Oval Office.

Fraser Heath investigating outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Surrey, B.C.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are working to identify a potential source of the bacteria in New Hampshire. A cautionary warning has been issued to the people most at risk of contracting the disease to stay away from this area.

Speaking to reporters, Jim Jeffrey, who was appointed in August as the State Department's Special Representative for Syrian Engagement, said Thursday that any such use of chemical weapons against the last rebel stronghold would be a "reckless escalation" of the conflict.

The northwestern province is home to about three million people, including at least a million displaced from other areas, and is controlled by rebel and extremist groups.

"The three powers did not fully close the door on the chances of a diplomatic resolution in Idlib, and their joint statement said they had agreed the Syrian war could only end through a negotiated political process". Turkey's relations with the opposition made it a key partner with Russian Federation and Iran in their efforts to end the Syrian civil war under the so-called "Astana Process".

7 called for a ceasefire to prevent a "bloodbath" in Idlib.

Idlib straddles major highways across Syria and if it is retaken by the government, the rebels would be left with just a few isolated pockets of territory.

The rare flare-up in the Kurdish-majority city near the Turkish border saw 11 regime fighters and seven Kurds killed, the Kurdish security forces said.

Nine people are said to have been killed in Mhradah. This prompted the clashes that lasted no more than 20 minutes, he said. But in recent days, the Damascus government announced that it will be holding local administration elections, including in Kurdish-ruled areas, undermining the negotiations with the Kurds and their proposal for self-rule.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER