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Erdogan warns any Idlib attack will affect Europe

14 September 2018

According to White Helmets, a local civil defense agency, at least 29 civilians have been killed and dozens injured in airstrikes and attacks by regime forces and Russian warplanes in Idlib and Hama since the beginning of this month.

The United Nations warned last week that an operation would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century".

He urged the West, including the USA, to join hands in stopping a possible attack on Idlib.

As reported by BBC News Turkey, he said Syria is open to dialogue with Kurdish groups, adding, "Our Kurdish brothers are a part of Syria and citizens of this country".

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is appealing to all parties directly and indirectly involved in Syria - especially Iran, Russia, and Turkey - to protect civilians and avoid a "bloodbath" in the last major rebel-held stronghold in Idlib.

He said a full-scale battle in Idlib "would unleash a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict".

"This (A full-scale attack) would unleash a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict", said the UN chief in a press encounter at UN Headquarters in NY.

Nebenzia, the Russian diplomat, also summed up last week's summit among Russia, Turkey and Iran as "a major milestone in restoring peace and ensuring lasting settlement in Syria".

Although Cavusoglu said his country is willing to work "with all partners and actors in Syria", he cautioned that it must be toward the goal of limiting the civilian death toll in Idlib as much as possible.

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"What we propose is very clear".

"In order for our efforts to succeed, guarantees must be given to civilians and moderate opposition groups that they will not be targeted once they separate from terrorists", Sinirlioglu said. "We have seen it in use before, and we strongly advise that it does not happen in this enclosed area, where the population has, I think, nearly doubled by the influx of evacuees and IDPs from other parts of the country".

TRT World's Oubai Shahbandar has more from Gaziantep, on Turkey's border with Syria.

Turkey's Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu made the appeal after telling the U.N. Security Council that President Bashar Assad's regime seeks to legitimize its military operation in Idlib on the grounds that it's fighting terrorism.

Turkey urged the global community on Tuesday "to vocally and actively support" Turkish calls for a cease-fire in Syria's last rebel-held stronghold in neighbouring Idlib province where Syria and its allies have intensified attacks ahead of an expected offensive.

In the article, Erdogan said "All members of the worldwide community must understand their responsibilities as the assault on Idlib looms. The consequences of inaction are vast", Erdogan said.

"A regime assault [in Idlib] would also create serious humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond", he added.

One source close to the White House told Al-Monitor that the USA administration was resigned to the Syrian offensive and acknowledged there were few options to stop it.

Haley said the Astana process has failed "to stop the violence or to promote a political solution".

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And Haley warned Assad and his allies for a second time that any assault on Idlib would be considered "reckless" by the USA and "the consequences will be dire".

"More than two million of them came from other areas of Syria, some from Ghouta, some from Aleppo".

"It is a disgusting tactic of terrorists, not professional soldiers", Halley said.

Beyond the risky prospect that the strikes could escalate the conflict (particularly given the Russian and Iranian presence in the country), they would also make it more hard for the United States and Russia to cooperate on a shared plan in Syria. "He's been warned, and so we'll see if he's wised up".

More than 30,000 people have so far fled their homes in northwest Syria since Syrian government and allied forces resumed air and ground bombardments there last week, the United Nations agency coordinating relief efforts said on Monday.

A top United Nations official warned Monday that an attack on rebel-held parts in Syria's Idlib in coming months could lead to this century's worst loss of life as government forces pounded the area from the air and ground.

He also blamed terrorists for forcing the government to move on Idlib, a claim rejected by the USA and other nations, which argue that Russian Federation and the Assad regime are using that label to justify the military offensive.

The attack occurred late Monday in the rural Tulul al-Safa area of the province, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) southeast of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

OCHA spokesman David Swanson told Reuters that as of Sunday, 30,542 people had been displaced from northwest Syria, moving to different areas across Idlib.

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Erdogan warns any Idlib attack will affect Europe