Turkish envoy to UN Sinirlioğlu calls for complete ceasefire in Idlib
Turkish envoy to UN Sinirlioğlu calls for complete ceasefire in Idlib
Idlib is the last stronghold of those trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad
14 September, 2018, 23:12
Russia's Defense Ministry has said that a fake chemical attack on civilians has been filmed in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.
Erdogan had called for a truce in an attempt to avoid a full-scale Syrian government assault on Idlib.
"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.
Russia-backed government forces have been massing for weeks around Idlib, which is home to almost three million people, many of them already dependent on aid.
Senior rebel officials said Turkey had sent more military aid to rebels in and around the Idlib region since a summit meeting with Iran and Russian Federation last week failed to agree a deal to avert a government offensive into the area.
In Geneva, the United Nations and Russian Federation are discussing a new Syrian constitution, far removed from Idlib, where constitutional rights are powerless to stop a bloodbath.
A major military operation in Idlib is expected to pose a humanitarian nightmare because there is no nearby opposition territory left in Syria where people could be evacuated to.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged the worldwide community to prevent a Syrian government offensive in Syria's Idlib, as the United Nations says it fears the century's "worst humanitarian catastrophe" there.
"All members of the worldwide community must understand their responsibilities as the assault on Idlib looms", Erdoğan wrote.
The comments came four days after the Turkish president met his Russian and Iranian counterparts for a summit in Tehran, where Erdogan sought to avert a bloody assault in Idlib.
During the seven-year Syrian conflict, the West has accused Damascus on a number of occcasions of using chemical weapons against the civilian population.
It is unclear when the offensive will formally begin and what impact the fall of Idlib could have on Turkish-controlled Afrin and the northern provinces controlled by the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Such tactics have preceded previous regime offensives. On the contrary, they would create further suffering, alienate and radicalize more Syrians.
"We would like to warn the U.S. and its allies against new unsafe steps", Zakharova added.
"I can say we've been in consultation with the British and the French, who joined us in the second strike, and they also agree that another use of chemical weapons will result in a much stronger response", Bolton said. "That's something we're monitoring very closely", OCHA spokesman David Swanson said.
But half the people here have already fled from other parts of Syria and they have nowhere left to go.
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