Turkey: International community must act to prevent Idlib crisis

Howard TerrySep 14, 2018

Russia's Defense Ministry has said that a fake chemical attack on civilians has been filmed in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.

"This would unleash a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict".

The Syrian government committed war crimes by using chlorine in three attacks against civilians in 2018, United Nations investigators said in a report released Wednesday.

During what was the second session on Idlib in four days, Haley told the council that "the world has seen a clear military escalation" this month by Russian Federation and the Syrian regime, whose forces have conducted more than 100 airstrikes, using "barrel bombs, rockets and artillery" in an attempt to retake the last rebel holdout after more than seven years of war.

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

In an article in today's Wall Street Journal, he calls on the global community to take action, and warns that "the entire world stands to pay the price" otherwise.

The latest escalation comes as residents of Idlib and many players in the global community, including President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, express new concerns about a Syrian attack on Idlib.

Violence has displaced 30,000 people in Idlib and the adjacent province of Hama this month alone.

Since 2015, Idlib has been home to a complex array of anti-regime forces: secular rebels, Islamists, Syrian jihadists with ties to Al-Qaeda - and their foreign counterparts.

Idlib residents hope Turkey's presence in the province might prevent a major assault by regime forces and Ankara's relationship with Iran and Russian Federation could lead to a new ceasefire. Such a response is especially likely due to the high visibility of the Idlib situation and Washington's multiple warnings about chemical weapons use.

"Some even said that they are preparing to die as Idlib is the last safe place for many of them".

USA officials have in recent days said additional action would follow if Assad were to use the banned weapons in rebel-held Idlib.

For weeks, regime troops backed by Russian Federation and Iran have massed around Idlib's periphery, with deadly air strikes, shelling, and barrel bombs falling with increased intensity in recent days.

One source close to the White House told Al-Monitor that the U.S. administration was resigned to the Syrian offensive and acknowledged there were few options to stop it. The UN has described it as a "dumping ground" for people evacuated and displaced from elsewhere in Syria during the seven-year war.

But half the people here have already fled from other parts of Syria and they have nowhere left to go.

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