European nations urge Syria, Iran to uphold Idlib ceasefire

Lamar Ellis
September 7, 2018

An AFP correspondent in Idlib saw convoys of families heading north, towards areas closer to the border with Turkey and less exposed to the launch of a major offensive.

"God forbid, a serious massacre could take place if there is a rain of missiles there", said Erdogan, whose country has supported Syrian rebels.

Global calls for restraint grew Wednesday for Syria and its allies, Russian Federation and Iran, to avoid a bloodbath and humanitarian disaster in Syria's Idlib province. They include Muhammad al-Qatirji and his Syria-based company Qatirji Company, said to facilitate fuel trade between the Assad government and IS, and companies based in Syria, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates that procure fuel for the government.

Seized from government forces in 2015, Idlib and adjacent areas form the final major chunk of Syrian territory are still under opposition control, home to some three million people, with around half of them displaced from other parts of the country, according to the United Nations.

"I think the last chapter of the Idlib story has not been written".

Air raids across the province killed at least 13 civilians, including six children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said. Now, he said, the United States will not tolerate "an attack".

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But regime backers Russian Federation and Iran have sworn to wipe out "terrorists" and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has declared his determination to retake control of the entire country.

Moscow has accused armed groups in Idlib of sending weaponised drones to attack the Hmeimim airbase that it uses in the adjacent province of Latakia.

The sanctions come two days after the Trump administration warned Assad against using chemical weapons on his citizens and Russian Federation conducted strikes in Idlib.

Jeffrey and retired U.S. Army Col. Joel Rayburn, who transferred to the State Department from the National Security Council last month to become "special envoy for Syria", were brought in to try to create a coherent blueprint that would prevent a repeat of what the administration sees as the mistakes of Iraq - where a precipitous U.S. pullout left the field open for Iran, and for a resurgence of Sunni militants that gave birth to the Islamic State.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he did not discuss assassinating Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, disputing an account in a forthcoming book by journalist Bob Woodward.

Rescue workers accused regime forces of killing more than 40 people with "poisonous chlorine gas" in the town of Douma in April.

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