000 flee in Syria as UN fears century's 'worst' crisis

Lamar Ellis
September 12, 2018

Turkish women protest against a Syrian military operation in the rebel-held Idlib province of northwest Syria in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 7, 2018. The conflict would likely create a humanitarian crisis on a scale not yet seen in the seven-year-long conflict, with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of refugees caught between regime forces to the south and a secure Turkish border to the north and west.

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.

"I call on everybody to raise their voice and also stand against the aggression of regime in Syria and to find a peaceful solution", he added. Some of them have even changed home [already] more than twice, so they are all prepared for immediate evacuation in case of a military operation.

Russian Federation has said it wants all militants to be pushed out of Idlib and that it avoids civilians and targets only radical al Qaeda-inspired groups.

That's right, unnamed United States officials are now claiming to be in possession of intelligence which they say shows Assad has already given the order in an absolutely unprecedented level of "pre-crime" telegraphing of events on the battlefield. Any assault on the province, large parts of which are held by hardline jihadists, would be considered "reckless" by Washington, she said, adding that the "the consequences will be dire".

Turkey, which has sent troops to Idlib and supports some of the armed groups, called for an immediate ceasefire and urged the worldwide community "to vocally and actively support our efforts to this end".

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 U.S. and others to attack inside Syria.

She also said that "Russia has the power to stop the catastrophe looming in Idlib".

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Warner said the committee has conducted more than 100 interviews and would still like to sit down with Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump's former attorney who pleaded guilty to fraud and campaign finance charges last month.

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

And perhaps more alarming is that the report details that Trump is undecided over whether new retaliatory strikes could entail expanding the attack to hit Assad allies Russian Federation and Iran this time around.

Russian Federation and Iran insisted that a military offensive in Idlib would be a counter-terrorism operation and that measures would be taken to spare civilians.

"Our top line message is there needs to be ways of dealing with this problem that don't turn the next few months in Idlib into the worst humanitarian catastrophe, with the biggest loss of life of the 21st century", UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock told reporters in Geneva.

That has prompted more than 30,000 people to be displaced within Idlib and parts of adjacent Hama province between September 1 and 9, the UN's humanitarian co-ordination agency (OCHA) said on Monday.

"President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. That's something we're monitoring very closely", OCHA spokesman David Swanson said.

About 3.5 million people are crammed into Idlib and the surrounding areas, at least half of whom have fled vanquished opposition areas.

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