Turkish President Warns Of Humanitarian Disaster In Idlib

Frederick Owens
September 14, 2018

In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, US-backed fighters fought to oust IS from the town of Hajin on the east bank of the Euphrates, the most significant remnant of the sprawling "caliphate" the jihadists once controlled spanning Syria and Iraq.

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"Russia, Iran and Assad are demolishing Idlib and asking us to call it peace", she said.

Syrian government forces, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, have been massing troops for weeks around Idlib in preparation for an attack.

Turkey, fearing an influx of refugees in the event of a major assault, has repeatedly warned against a "massacre" in this last stronghold of the Syrian opposition.

"A regime assault [in Idlib] would also create serious humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond", he added. "Some have even started to move under the trees in the hope that it will save them", said Mahmoud.

The weapons, which have entered Syria in large quantities in recent days, include ammunition and GRAD rockets. "Conventional weapons are responsible for far more deaths", he said.

"The Turks are making sure they have enough munitions that keep them going for a long while", he added.

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The Turkish Red Crescent official told MEE that only civilians who left their weapons behind would be admitted into the organisation's camps.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, Mark Lowcock, chief of the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said more than 30,000 people were already displaced by Russian and Syrian airstrikes and another 800,000 could soon follow, The Independent reported. The Syrian army is building up troops near frontlines.

While Turkey has been one of the main supporters of Syrians rebels and called for Assad s ouster, Ankara has until now worked closely with Assad s allies Moscow and Tehran to find a political solution to the conflict.

Various so-called "de-escalation zones" were agreed among the three guarantor powers in Syria as a result of multiple rounds of talks, including Idlib.

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

"In order for our efforts to succeed, guarantees must be given to civilians and moderate opposition groups that they will not be targeted once they separate from terrorists", Sinirlioglu said.

Recall, the Assad regime supported by Russian Federation and Iran is preparing an attack on the last enclave of the Syrian rebels under the guise of "fighting terrorists".

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