Syria threatened with 'stronger response' if it uses chemical weapons in Idlib

11 September, 2018, 13:26 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Ceasefire talks fail as airstrikes target last rebel-held region in Syria

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday's airstrikes on Idlib and Hama provinces forced some people to flee their homes.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged the global community to prevent a Syrian government offensive in Syria's Idlib, as the United Nations says it fears the century's "worst humanitarian catastrophe" there.

Government forces, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, have been massing troops for weeks in preparation for an attack on Idlib province that is the last major rebel stronghold in the country.

A previous chemical weapons attack in Douma, which killed at least 70 people, resulted in retaliatory strikes from American, British and French forces stationed in the Mediterranean.

A war monitoring group and rescue workers said at least four people have been killed in the air raids against the last rebel stronghold in the country.

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

That's right, unnamed U.S. 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.

The US has so far conducted two separate attacks against Syrian Army positions under the pretext that Damascus was using chemical weapons against civilians. Russian Federation and Iran backed a military offensive to reclaim the last major rebel-held area of Syria, while Turkey called for a ceasefire to prevent mass casualties among the province's estimated 3.5 million population.

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Russian Federation and the United States also accused each other's allies of preparing to mount chemical attacks.

The WSJ report cites White House discussions of a third strike - in reference to United States attacks on Syria during the last two Aprils after chemical allegations were made against Damascus - while indicating it would "likely would be more expansive than the first two" and could include targeting Russian Federation and Iran. USA warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the base. Assad ignored the warning, and Obama didn't react militarily.

She called specifically on Moscow to stop Assad's assault on Idlib, which she called "a reckless escalation even if chemical weapons were not used".

On April 13, USA bomber jets, warships, and an attack submarine launched strikes along with French and British fighter jets in a more sweeping attack.

Now, the use of chemical weapons is a "red line" that, if crossed, will trigger USA and European military response.

The UN has warned that Idlib could turn into the worst humanitarian disaster of the 21st century as hundreds of thousands of civilians surge to the now closed Turkish border to evade an assault led by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Still, it remains unclear what precisely would prompt a new round of airstrikes, whether a chlorine gas attack or one that uses a deadly nerve agent, like sarin. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy.

Turkey worries the violence could send hundreds of thousands of fleeing civilians to its border.

The UN also noted on Monday that 30,000 Syrians were displaced inside Idlib from their homes in northwest Syria after the Syrian government and allied forces resumed air and ground strikes this week.

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