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

Turkey boosts arms to Syrian rebels as Idlib attack looms - rebel sources

Turkey boosts arms to Syrian rebels as Idlib attack looms - rebel sources

In a recent discussion about Syria, people familiar with the exchange said, President Trump threatened to conduct a massive attack against Mr. Assad if he carries out a massacre in Idlib, the northwestern province that has become the last refuge for more than three million people and as many as 70,000 opposition fighters that the regime considers to be terrorists.

"This would unleash a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict". "We will see them finding a secure place on the border and create their own living areas if the operation starts".

Russian Federation has said Turkey has the job of separating Islamist militants from the moderate opposition in Idlib.

"All members of the global community must understand their responsibilities as the assault on Idlib looms".

"Terrorists must not be allowed to hold hostages indefinitely and use hundreds of thousands of civilians in Idlib as a human shield", he said, adding that "it is impossible to exist side by side with terrorists."

During his remarks, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia repeated the claim that "Syria has no chemical weapons", and said it would be folly on a humanitarian and political basis for the Assad regime to use chemical weapons, as it would prompt the United States and others to attack inside Syria.

Last week the French ambassador, whose country also vowed to strike Syria if what it deems credible chemical allegations emerge, said during a U.N. Security Council meeting on Idlib: "Syria is once again at the edge of an abyss".

The Assad regime has twice been targeted by United States air and missile strikes after previous alleged chemical attacks.

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"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.

He added that Russian Federation and Iran were also responsible for stopping a humanitarian disaster in Idlib, and said the global community had to "throw its weight behind a political solution".

"They pledged complete Turkish military support for a long, protracted battle", a senior FSA commander who was privy to talks in recent days with senior Turkish officials said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly.

"I am happy with the reports about an indefinite stay", O'Hanlon said, but added: "We also need a more realistic political strategy, explicitly and publicly, that ties everything together and lays out a vision and recognizes the reality of Assad's continued rule, at least in some of the country, at least for a while".

The opposition accuses Russian Federation and its allies of striking at hospitals and civil defense centers to force rebels to surrender in a repeat of earlier, large-scale military offensives.

That has prompted an estimated 30,452 people to be displaced within Idlib and parts of adjacent Hama province between September 1 and 9, the UN's humanitarian coordination agency (OCHA) said Monday.

More than 30,000 people have been displaced within rebel-held northwest Syria by government and allied bombardment which began last week, a United Nations official said.

More than 3 million people live in the rebel-held territory, almost half of them already displaced from fighting elsewhere in Syria.

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