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Turkey Is Responsible for Separating out Islamists in Syria, Russian Envoy Says

Turkey Is Responsible for Separating out Islamists in Syria, Russian Envoy Says”

"Fighting terrorism does not absolve warring parties of their core obligations under global law", said Guterres, who directly appealed to Iran, Russia and Turkey to spare no effort to protect civilians, "preserve basic services such as hospitals, ensure full respect for worldwide humanitarian law". Turkey has staked a major claim in Idlib as a way of staving off the chaos from its borders.

Jim Jeffrey, the State Department's special adviser on Syria, said Thursday the US has evidence that Assad is preparing to use chemical weapons in Idlib once again.

President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to retake it, backed by his Russian and Iranian allies, but the United Nations has warned that an offensive could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe, potentially uprooting 800,000 people.

Russia-backed government forces have been massing for weeks around Idlib, which is home to almost three million people, many of them already dependent on aid.

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.

"They also include people from other parts of Syria who were transferred to Idlib, people from Homs, Aleppo, who were transferred to this province, bussed there, in evacuation deals", she said.

People demonstrate against the regime and its ally Russian Federation, in the rebel-held city of Idlib, Sept. 7, 2018.

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.

Airstrikes and bombings would trigger a "massive wave of refugees and tremendous security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond", he warned.

"What Ankara said about Turkey's operations into Syria is to keep the PKK away from the Turkish borders", he said, adding, "The unsaid objective is to keep Assad far from Turkey's borders".

"They pledged complete Turkish military support for a long, protracted battle", a senior FSA commander who was privy to talks in recent days with senior Turkish officials said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly.

"Turkey can resist quite plausibly the Assad regime. Idlib can be defended against the regime", Selcen said.

A wall along the border between Turkey and Syria is pictured at the Syrian town of Atimah, Idlib province, in this picture taken from Reyhanli, Hatay province, Turkey October 10, 2017.

Other analysts say they are not completely convinced.

The ministry added that the militants are planning to use toxic substances made of chlorine against civilians in Idlib. Soli Ozel, an worldwide relations expert with Istanbul's Kadir Has University, asked how Turkey could "have a war with the Syrian regime, if the Syrian regime is being supported by the Russians to the bitter end, and the Russians control the airspace?"

For the past 18 months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been cultivating a deepening relationship with Erdogan, much to the angst of Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Britain and France backed the call for a ceasefire, recalling that these had been agreed under arrangements for a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib that were overseen by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Analysts suggest Erdogan could be engaging in a high-stakes gamble, betting that Moscow and Damascus aren't ready to risk a clash with Turkey and could yet seek a last-minute diplomatic settlement over Idlib.

The conflict's three powerbrokers - regime allies Russian Federation and Iran and rebel backer Turkey - agreed at a summit last week to "stabilize" Idlib, but few details emerged on how they would do it.



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