Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Idlib assault would lead to humanitarian catastrophe, Turkey warns

Idlib assault would lead to humanitarian catastrophe, Turkey warns

Yesterday, the United Nations warned that a large-scale military operation against Idlib could create "the worst humanitarian catastrophe with the biggest loss of life in the 21st century".

After another alleged toxic attack outside Damascus in April, Britain, France and the United States also carried out retaliatory strikes.

"We can not envisage Russian Federation bombing Turkey's military presence in Idlib", Selcen said. "He's been warned and so we'll see if he's wised up", Mattis added.

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.

"Fighting terrorism does not absolve warring parties of their core obligations under global law", said Guterres, who directly appealed to Iran, Russia and Turkey to spare no effort to protect civilians, "preserve basic services such as hospitals, ensure full respect for worldwide humanitarian law".

"The United States followed through when we said that we would respond to the use of chemical weapons".

Turkey is urging the global community to intervene to prevent Syria from launching an offensive in Syria's last remaining rebel-held Idlib enclave.

Wreckage at a site of a civilian hospital following Syrian government airstrikes in the town of Hass, Rural Idlib Alhnobi, Syria, Sept. 8, 2018.

"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 was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying.

Trump "has been clear on the consequences for the use of chemical weapons", Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday.

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

"We can not allow terrorists to hold hostage and use hundreds of thousands of people of Idlib as human shields", said the Russian ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia. "Specifically the munitions documented were built around industrially-produced Iranian artillery rockets known to have been supplied to forces commanded by the (Syrian) government", the report added.

"The Turkish border is sealed, the Turks have kept that border quite tightly shut for the past few years, so al-Assad's opponents don't have anywhere to run to", she said.

Haley said the Trump administration hasn't seen any actions "to indicate that Russia, Iran and Assad are interested in a political solution".

Russian Federation responded and insisted that the planned assault on Idlib is a "counterterrorism operation" and that measures will be taken to spare civilians.

About 3 million people live in the opposition-held area, which comprises most of Idlib province and adjacent small parts of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces.

A possible regime attack on Syria's northwestern province of Idlib will sabotage the ongoing political process and cause a serious crisis of confidence, the Turkish presidential spokesman said on September 11.

"We're deeply concerned about this recent escalation of violence, which has resulted in the displacement of over 30,000 in the area".

He acknowledged that there were many rebels and fighters from "terrorist" groups in the province, but stressed that "there are 100 civilians, majority women and children, for every fighter in Idlib".

More than half of Idlib's refugees are already displaced from other parts of Syria, along with tens of thousands of rebel fighters.

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